‘Zero hunger’

January 18, 2020

WITH just 29 months before June 30, 2022, the administration of President Duterte is still up against one of its greatest challenges: millions of people remain hungry due to extreme poverty.

At 12 noon on this day, the six-year presidency of the hard-hitting but highly-popular Chief Executive from impoverished Mindanao ends as provided under the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

To free more Filipinos from hunger and achieve food security, President Duterte has created an inter-agency task force (TF) on “zero hunger,” drawing cheers from various sectors of society.

In setting up the TF, Duterte recognized that involuntary hunger, food security, under-nutrition, and child wasting, stunting and mortality continue to be serious concerns in the country.  

There’s a need to coordinate, rationalize, monitor and assess the efforts of state offices to ensure a whole-of-government approach to eradicating hunger and achieving food security, he said.

Heading the 13-member task force is Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, with Secretary Rolando Bautista of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as vice chairman.

Members are the heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, Budget, Education, Environment, Labor, Science, Trade, Communication, National Economic and Development Authority, and Commission on Higher Education.  

The TF is mandated to formulate a National Food Policy (NFP), which will outline national priorities based on a comprehensive understanding of the problem of hunger and related issues.

Under the NFP, the task force members will identify and come up with initiatives for ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.

We commend the Duterte government for exerting its best efforts to make productive the countryside as part of its program of action to wipe out hunger and achieve food security.