|Rep. Gina de Venecia (Extreme Right) donated a motor bike at the police in Dagupan City|
Pangasinan congresswoman Gina de Venecia, who has earlier filed House Bill 6462 to name malunggay the national vegetable, is also in the process of putting up -- not one but two-- moringa processing plants in her home-district in Pangasinan. “Last week, we have already inspected the sites for the malunggay plantations that will be put up in San Fabian and in Barangay Awai, San Jacinto”, said Rep. De Venecia,who represents the four-town and one city strong 4th Congressional District, who has allotted an initial amount of 25 million pesos for the establishment of malunggay processing plants in the said towns. “Through these projects, we hope to turn what was known as a backyard tree as a source of a profitable trade that can enable us to tap into the 6.9 billion- dollar world-health industry.” According to De Venecia, “Malunggay is now being manufactured and sold in powder form, tablets and capsules as health supplement. It is likewise used in fortifying beauty products, hair shampoos, sauces, juices, milk, bread, instant noodles, tea, and even ice cream, as what the Manaoag Cooperative in my congressional district has been doing.” To ensure that the uses and propagation of malunggay will be promoted periodically, De Venecia is also seeking for the declaration of the month of November of every year as the “national malunggay month.” Malunggay consumption, to solve 3 main vitamin-deficiency problems in Ph Rep. De Venecia further stated that malunggay consumption will address the three main vitamin deficiency problems identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) in developing countries, like the Philippines. According to WHO, the three vitamin deficiency problems in developing nations are: Iron deficiency that reduces resistance to infections; Iodine deficiency that leads to various degree of mental retardation, and; Vitamin A deficiency that promotes loss of immunity. “These three vital nutrients are all found in malunggay, as it has four times more beta-carotene than carrots, and three times more iron than spinach. In addition, it’s also an excellent source of naturally occurring iodine that our body requires for proper functioning,” said De Venecia. Malunggay was named by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as the “Most Nutritious Plant on the Face of the Earth.” It also claimed that malunggay is helpful in curing about 300 diseases, including cancer, diabetes, infertility and HIV-AIDS.