Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Tuesday announced that the Palace will soon be issuing an executive order (EO) creating a Zero Hunger Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) composed of members of the Cabinet that will seek to eradicate hunger in the country by 2030.
According to the Palace official, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the proposal in Monday’s Cabinet meeting, and that the issuance was just being finalized before being released to the public.
“The President and the members of the Cabinet recognize that we have to adopt additional measures to combat hunger given how data shows that it is problem that cannot be ignored,” stressed Nograles.
“At this point an inter-agency task force that can focus and align the different work being done to address the different aspects of hunger is needed.”
Nograles revealed that data showed that 2.4 million families experienced moderate to extreme hunger in 2018, 13.7 million Filipino children are undernourished, and that a fifth of Filipinos children until the age of five are underweight.
“It is apparent that current efforts aren’t enough, and that at this point an inter-agency task force that can focus and align the different work being done to address the different aspects of hunger is needed.”
The former lawmaker from Davao said that the the new task force will formulate a national food policy to ensure the attainment of zero hunger and poverty eradication, consistent with the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan; rationalize existing domestic laws, decrees, policies and issuances pertinent to the alleviation of hunger and poverty, consistent with international laws and treaty obligations; identify and ensure institutional responsibilities of concerned government agencies and adopt a whole of government approach to implement the directives of the EO; determine key indicators that are measurable in terms of periodic targets for achieving zero hunger and poverty eradication; and monitor government’s compliance of periodic targets, policies and programs set under the EO.
The IATF will also coordinate with concerned government agencies and local government units, in consultation with civil society organizations, for the conduct of objective impact assessments on relevant programs of action; create technical working groups or ad hoc committees comprising of relevant government agencies and local government units, in consultation with non-governmental organizations, to effectively address particular concerns relative to the implementation of the EO; and adopt implementing rules and regulations to effectively carry out the objectives of the EO.
“Ultimate goal of the Task Force is to totally eradicate hunger by 2030.”
Nograles said that “the ultimate goal of the Task Force is to totally eradicate hunger by 2030.”
“We plan to get there eventually. Our first milestone is to reduce current hunger levels by 25 percent two and a half years after the EO is issued. The next step is to cut hunger incidence by half in five years after the issuance of the EO, and reduce hunger by 75 percent within seven-and-a-half years,” added Nograles.
Under the proposed EO, the IATF will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, with the Department of Social Development and Welfare and Department of Agriculture designated as vice chairs.
Members of the Zero Hunger IATF include the Executive Secretary and the heads of national agencies, plus the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor, Office of Civil Defense Administrator, Commission on Higher Education Chairperson, Philippine Commission on Urban Poor Chairperson, Philippine Commission on Women Chairperson, Food and Drug Administration Director General, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Executive Director, National Nutrition Council Executive Director, National Anti-Poverty Commission Lead Convenor, and Food and Nutrition Research Institute Director.