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PH MARKS WORLD FOOD DAY WITH 2 PROGRAMS VS HUNGER

Ending hunger in the Philippines within this generation’s lifetimes.

This, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, is the ultimate objective of the National Food Policy (NFP), one of two initiatives launched by the Duterte Administration on World Food Day to address hunger in the country.

The crafting of the NFP, said the former legislator, is “the the catalyst to consolidate and harmonize efforts of the government to end hunger.”

Aside from the NFP, Nograles––Chair of the government’s Task Force Zero Hunger––on Friday also led the virtual launch of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Roadmap.

The two initiatives, said the Palace official, underscore the government’s commitment to address involuntary hunger, food security, undernutrition, child wasting, stunting, and mortality––concerns that President Rodrigo Duterte had prioritized even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Nograles:  “The President, by issuing Executive Order No. 101, acknowledged that there is a need to carefully coordinate, rationalize, monitor, and assess the efforts of involved government agencies to ensure not only a whole-of-nation approach but a whole-of-society collaboration in eradicating hunger and achieving food security.”

The NFP is a product of Task Force Zero Hunger, which was established by Executive Order No. 101.

The NFP includes initiatives for ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.

It has six major key result areas (KRAs):

  • KRA 1: To review and rationalize existing policies, rules, and regulations related to the Zero Hunger efforts of the government.
  • KRA 2: To ensure available and affordable food
  • KRA 3: To secure nutrition adequacy
  • KRA 4: To secure food accessibility and safety
  • KRA 5: To ensure sustainable food systems, resiliency, and food stability during emergencies
  • KRA 6: To ensure information, education, awareness, and people participation

The crafting of the NFP, said the former legislator, is “the catalyst to consolidate and harmonize efforts of the government to end hunger.”

“There will be many challenges and it will be a daunting task; rest assured, Task Force Zero Hunger is committed to seeing sustained gains to end hunger in the country.”

Nograles pointed out that the NFP “will constantly evolve to respond to the constant changes and needs of the times.”

“There will be many challenges and it will be a daunting task; rest assured, Task Force Zero Hunger is committed to seeing sustained gains to end hunger in the country.”

Similarly, said the Mindanao native, the BARMM FSN Roadmap seeks to “achieve a sustainable, competitive, and accessible food supply chain for Bangsamoro; a balance intake of Halal food; and adaptive capacity of its communities, which shall guide BARMM in paving the way for self-reliance, food security and resiliency.”

Based on the 2019 Global Hunger Index, the Philippines ranked 70th out of 117 countries at a level of hunger classified as serious. Nograles explained that from 1990 to 2015, Filipinos have been experiencing serious levels of hunger, and while the nation’s scores and ratings have improved through the years, the country is still confronted by serious levels of hunger.

It is a problem, the Palace executive said, that has been greatly compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent survey revealed that an estimated 7.6 million families reported involuntary hunger amid the ongoing pandemic.

The hunger incidence in September also saw a 9.8 point increase from the 20.9 percent level, or an estimated 5.2 million families, in July.

Given this, fighting hunger, Nograles stressed, is a “moral imperative, isang hudyat sa ating pagkakakilanlan bilang isang bansa.”

“Hindi lamang sa mga kasama kong naglilingkod sa pamahalaan. Nakaatang ito sa ating balikat––tayong lahat—na kumilos at pagsikapang tumugon ng may determinasyon upang maagang dumating ang araw na wala ni isang Pilipino ang muling kakalam ang sikmura.”

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