Monday, August 10, 2015

Restaurant food left over... be given to the poor?

There are proposals that government should force restaurants and bake shops to donate  their unsold food and bread, or "hardly touched" food, to the poor and hungry, before they close their shops. that this is better than throwing the food away. After all, there are many hungry people in the country, or in the world. Is this fair?

Sounds fair, but I will not support it. For two reasons.

One, food safety, even if "hardly touched" after being served to customers who paid for it, it may have some saliva contamination, that may pass some diseases to other people. 

Two, and more importantly, if you give free food regularly, daily (or nightly) to people, some may not work hard anymore as there is regular free food nightly anyway. Then they will text their relatives in the provinces, "Come to Manila (or other big cities), we get delicious, free food here every night."

This is on top of free or highly subsidized healthcare and education as there are more government hospitals and schools per sq. km of land in Metro Manila than the rest of the country. And that will worsen further the congestion (traffic, housing, etc.) in the metropolis.

Hence, we should NOT institutionalize freebies to people, do not encourage dependence and entitlement, as it will create more problems than solutions. 

The better alternative is to keep food prices low and cheap. Remove certain taxes, fees, permits, import tariff, food protectionism, etc. that only contribute to high domestic food prices.

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