DUE to mushrooming population, unemployment, extreme poverty and skyrocketing food prices, hunger remains a major problem in impoverished countries across the globe.
In the Philippines, a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people, malnutrition also worries the government, with 20 percent of the population categorized as “underweight.”
Thus, we commend Senator Joel Villanueva for filing Senate Bill (SB) No. 344 or “Pagkain Para sa Lahat Act,” which calls for the establishment of “food banks” and “soup kitchens” in the country.
In filing SB No. 344, Villanueva expressed the hope that surplus food produced by restaurants, food manufacturers and other food firms should not go to waste but to the tables of needy families.
Senator Villanueva said the food surplus produced by these establishments would go a long way to feed the hungry, and help reduce the number of malnourished and underweight Filipinos.
And we share the view of the senator that the picture is even made more appalling by the fact that a significant portion of food produced in the Philippines “simply ends up in the landfill.”
Last October 16, the Philippines and other countries marked “World Food Day” amid calls to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.
With majority of the population, mostly farmers and fishermen, still living below the poverty line, the setting up of “food banks” and “soup kitchens” is a most welcome relief for the poor.
It is only just and proper for the government, through the two-chamber Congress, to meet the food needs of the Filipino people, particularly those living in squatter colonies across the country.