President commends Task Force on Zero Hunger; confident PH would soon overcome challenges

Published January 11, 2021, 8:39 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is confident the nation would soon overcome the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte

The President said he hopes for a “stronger and healthier future” for Filipinos amid government’s intensified efforts to address hunger and poverty in the country. 

The latest presidential remarks were issued on the occasion of the first anniversary of the creation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger. The pandemic has weakened the local economy, displaced millions of workers, and pushed more families into hunger, prompting the government to ease movement restrictions and revitalize economic activity.

“We celebrate this momentous occasion for your agency with optimism that we will soon overcome the difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the President said in a message.

“I therefore urge you to continue your collaborative work with other agencies in crafting programs and initiatives that will improve the lives of the poorest and marginalized sectors of our society,” he said.

The President commended the task force for its hard work and dedication in coordinating efforts to fight hunger and poverty across the country. He said the National Food Policy is a welcome development not only to resolve the decades-long problem of hunger and malnutrition but also to attain food security.

“With your unrelenting commitment, I am confident that we can attain a stronger and healthier future for all Filipinos,” he said. 

In January 2020, the President issued Executive Order No. 101 creating a task force that will supervise and coordinate efforts to fight hunger, attain food security, and improve nutrition. The order noted that involuntary hunger, food security, undernutrition and child wasting, stunting and mortality continue to be serious concerns in the country.

The task force has already formulated a National Food Policy that involves programs seeking to eliminate hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. It was formally launched during the World Food Day last October.

Nograles, in his online remarks Monday, said the National Food Policy aims to strengthen government agencies and local government units to provide the interventions to end hunger, attain food security, among others. The government aims to reduce the country’s hunger rate to the pre-pandemic level.

“The government cannot do this alone. The responsibility of ending hunger in our country rests in all of us, all Filipinos, must involve a whole-of-nation approach. We need everyone’s cooperation and commitment,” he said.