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ANTI-HUNGER PROGRAM: A LEGACY FOR GENERATIONS

“The Duterte administration envisions the anti-hunger, anti-poverty program as a lasting gift to the Filipino people, a legacy that should be enjoyed by generations to come.”

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made the remark during the virtual launching of the National Food Policy initiative held last November 4, 2020 led by the National Food Coalition (NFC) and the Koalisyon sa Karapatan sa Sapat na Pagkain (KKSP).

Hunger remains a challenge for the country, especially during the COVID-19 health crisis. According to the latest data from the SWS Mobile Survey, there is a 30.7% hunger rate covering an estimated 7.6 million families as of September 2020.

In an online consultation attended by 49 NGO officers and stakeholders, Nograles discussed the concrete steps undertaken by the government to address the hunger problem under the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Malacañang official explained that President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 101 creating the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger to better implement a coordinated inter-agency effort under the “whole-of-government approach” to combat hunger and achieve food security.

Nograles added that the Task Force’s thrust is consistent with the aim of establishing sustainable agriculture as prescribed by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Hunger remains a challenge for the country, especially during the COVID-19 health crisis. According to the latest data from the SWS Mobile Survey, there is a 30.7% hunger rate covering an estimated 7.6 million families as of September 2020.

The level of food access uncertainty rose from 53.9% in 2018 to 64.1% in 2019, based on figures from the  DOST Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s 2019 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS).

The Cabinet Secretary was quick to clarify, however, that before COVID-19, the 4th quarter of 2019 numbers showed only an 8.8% incidence of involuntary hunger for the previous three months.

“The NFP is ambitious but doable, that’s why we strongly encourage the participation of stakeholders from the private sector NGOs, religious groups, and various other stakeholders to truly make it effective.”

“Overall, the data shows we need to do more work to address the issue. That’s why the Zero Hunger Task Force formulated the National Food Policy (NFP) to serve as a policy roadmap moving forward,” the former Davao legislator emphasized.

The NFP lays down six key result areas (KRAs) that shall determine and address issues involving the review of current policies, ensuring a steady supply of food during emergencies, access to food and agricultural resources, as well as education and information campaigns to get more citizens involved in the program.

“The NFP is ambitious but doable, that’s why we strongly encourage the participation of stakeholders from the private sector NGOs, religious groups , and various other stakeholders to truly make it effective. Addressing hunger and poverty is every Filipino’s concern. The NFP’s success, in a sense, will be everyone’s legacy to the next generation,” Nograles stressed.

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