Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Chair of the Task Force on Zero Hunger, congratulated the attendees and participants of the “Kasapatan at Ugnayan ng Mamamayan sa Akmang Pagkain At Nutrisyon” or KUMAIN webinar series last September 16, 2020, stressing that “knowledge gained and partnerships made will go a long way in combatting hunger and poverty in the country.”
The first webinar of the series was attended vitrually by Usec. Blesilda Lantayona of the Department of Trade and Industry, Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang of the National Nutrition Council, Mr. Jaypy De Juan of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology, Dir. Jerry Clavesillas of the DTI, Mr. Rocky Doctor of Nutridense Food Manufacturing Corporation, as well as representatives from Task Force partner agencies DSWD, DOH, DepED and various stakeholders.
“We want to prioritize people’s nutrition, especially the children who suffer the long-term effects of food inadequacy.”
Nograles explained that the Webinar Series was part of the Philippine government’s compliance with its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations 2030, particularly SDG No. 2 which aims to end hunger and ensure food security.
“We want to prioritize people’s nutrition, especially the children who suffer the long-term effects of food inadequacy,” said the Malacañang official.
Through KUMAIN, there would be a series of discussions on ways to properly coordinate efforts between government and the private sector as partners in key initiatives such as Ambisyon Natin 2040 and the Philippine Development Plan 2017 – 2022 Maginhawa Pillar, both intended to address issues relating to hunger and food production.
Hunger remains a policy challenge, Nograles expressed. Based on the June 2020 Social Weather System (SWS) Mobile Survey, 20.9% of the population, or 5.2 milyong Filipinos experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months.
The figure, the former Davao legislator pointed out, was the highest recorded in the last four years. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who were uncertain as to their food source increased from 53.9% in 2018 to 64.1% last year, according to data from the DOST Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s 2019 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS).
“Let’s all be part of this life-changing effort. Think of our children’s future.”
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 101 last January 10, 2020, which created the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger under the chairmanship of Nograles.
The Task Force immediately studied six Key Results Areas or KRAs while simultaneously focusing on its major deliverable: the first National Food Policy (NFP). There are plans to launch the programs in time for World Food Day next month on October 16.
“We’re drafting a robust policy and implementation framework with the COVID-19 crisis fully in mind. It’s part of our Zero Hunger roadmap which our six TWGs are working double time on,” the Cabinet Secretary emphasized.
Among the outlined objectives of the KUMAIN Series are: (1) build on know-how by target actors of the objective of IATF-Zero Hunger; (2) improve information of food and nutrition implementors on new technologies launched by DOST-FNRI on food fortification; (3) pinpoint pilot areas for linkages between EPAHP and FNRI adaptors for the roll-out of First 1000 Days programs, Supplementary Feeding Programs and School-Based Feeding Programs all over the country.
During the Webinar, Nograles relayed to the online participants the urgency of expanding zero hunger programs and increasing access to safe and nutritious food products.
“Let’s all be part of this life-changing effort. Think of our children’s future. Nakasalalay sa ating mga kamay ang kaligtasan ng susunod na henerasyon. No cause is more important and noble than ensuring a bright, nutritious and properly-fed future for all Filipinos.”