Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has been designated by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the government’s Task Force on Zero Hunger, an initiative that seeks to coordinate government efforts to eradicate hunger and achieve food security in the country.
The Palace announced on Thursday that the President has signed Executive Order No. 101, which creates the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger, a body to be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and is composed of the heads of agencies and offices involved in government anti-hunger initiatives.
“Persistent hunger, if unadressed, can lead to undernutrition, illness, and lower work productivity.”
The agencies to comprise the Task Force include the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agrarian Reform, the Department of Education, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Health, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Science and Technology, the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the Commission on Higher Education.
“The formation of this Task Force reflects the government’s commitment to address hunger and food security in the country,” said Nograles, who as Cabinet Secretary also heads Task Force Yolanda and co-chairs the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization for BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).
“Persistent hunger, if unadressed, can lead to undernutrition, illness, and lower work productivity later in life––which in turn can have a negative impact on economic productivity,” he explained.
“In other words, hunger does not just hurt those who suffer from it; the whole nation suffers from it as well. The President wants us to find ways to ensure that no Filipino man, woman, or child suffer from hunger. Ultimately our goal is to eradicate hunger, to say #GoodbyeGutom,” stressed the former lawmaker from Mindanao.
Per EO No. 101, the Task Force is mandated “to ensure that government policies, initiatives and projects on attaining zero hunger shall be coordinated, responsive and effective.”
“The President wants us to find ways to ensure that no Filipino man, woman, or child suffer from hunger.”
The powers and functions of the Task Force are to formulate a National Food Policy that will serve as the government’s roadmap to address hunger; to coordinate and rationalize the efforts of concerned government agencies to ensure a whole-of-government approach to attaining zero hunger; and monitor and evaluate the government’s progress in ending hunger and achieving food security.
The body is also tasked to form technical working groups composed of its member-agencies to address concerns pertaining to hunger and prepare and submit annual reports to the President on the state of hunger, food security, nutrition, and agricultural production in the country.