Immediate passage of zero hunger bill a must
The zero hunger bill, also known as the right to adequate food bill, was filed by Sen. Koko Pimentel last June 30 in the Senate, as one of his priority bills. The bill has been docketed as Senate Bill No. 111. That same day, a similar bill (House Bill No. 61) was filed in the House of Representatives by Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles and his brother Rep. Jericho Jonas Nograles, also as one of their priority bills.
The National Food Coalition welcomes the filing of the bills.
In the last Congress, a similar bill was approved by the Senate committee on justice and human rights and the Senate committee on finance, and was considered at the plenary level. Its counterpart bill in the House reached approval stage at the committee on human rights only.
The National Food Coalition expresses hope that the bill will run its full course—up to approval—by both chambers of Congress. At the same time, the National Food Coalition calls on President Duterte to consider the bill as a centerpiece measure in his fight against poverty and as a priority bill, and to certify it as urgent.
The bill, once passed, will mandate the government to establish a clear set of policy targets to end hunger in the Philippines within 10 years. The bill, thus, will make food not just a charity issue but a legal entitlement by adopting a comprehensive rights-based legal framework for food programs using a whole-of-government approach.
The National Food Coalition—a broad organization of basic sectors, including farmers, fisherfolks, urban poor, indigenous peoples, women, children and elderly—is, therefore, calling for the immediate passage of the bill. In creating a legal framework for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food and for ending hunger, this bill considers among its priorities the particular vulnerabilities of the impoverished, especially those experiencing extreme poverty.
Pagkain, sapat dapat!
—AUREA MICLAT-TEVES, convenor, National Food Coalition president, FIAN Philippines president, Peoples Development Institute
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