Nograles: Ending hunger a daunting task but possible with help of private sector

Published February 22, 2021, 8:37 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Ending hunger by 2030 is an “extremely daunting task” but the government is optimistic it could be attained especially with the help of the private sector.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Speaking at the online launch of “Pilipinas Kontra Gutom” movement Monday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the government would “need and welcome” all the support it can get to help improve the nation’s food security and nutrition amid concerns the pandemic has worsened hunger incidence.

“Let us continue to work together to end hunger. Yes it is an extremely daunting task, but it can be accomplished if we all work together hand in hand,” Nograles said.

“We are optimistic we can end hunger by 2030. With the strong synergy between the government and the private sector, this daunting task will be much bearable,” said Nograles, chair of the government task force on attaining zero hunger.

Pilipinas Kontra Gutom is a multi-sectoral movement seeking to eliminate hunger and malnutrition by 2030 in more than 40 priority areas in the country.  The movement, includes several government agencies, private companies, and non government organizations, aims to have one million fewer hungry Filipinos by next year. The four missions of the movement are food availability and accessibility, nutrition adequacy, assistance during times of crisis, and repurposing food surplus.

As the government prepares for the vaccine rollout, Nograles said they would focus on ensuring the feeding and nutrition programs as well as social protection interventions would reach the people especially the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors.

“With the support of Pilipinas Kontra Gutom, we will be able to augment our resources and craft better plans and strategies so we can reach more and do more,” he said.

Seventeen more priority areas have been identified to be given assistance to enhance food security and nutrition, according to Margot Torres, private sector lead of Pilipinas Kontra Gutom.

In the presentation made by Torres, the nine priority areas in Luzon are Palawan, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Abra, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Kalinga, Albay, and Zambales. 

The four priority places in Visayas are Biliran, Antique and Southern Leyte.

In Mindanao, the priority areas are Basilan, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Camiguin, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The task force on zero hunger earlier identified 32 provinces with high hunger incidence that will be given priority in food assistance.

The Pilipinas Kontra Gutom movement, organized in November 2020, has so far gained around 70 partners from the private sector.

The team includes Aboitiz, AXA, Bayer, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Cargill, Century Pacific Food, Inc., Coca-Cola, East West Seed, Dole Philippines, Harbest, JG Summit Holdings Inc., Johnson & Johnson Philippines, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Kraft Heinz, McDonald’s Philippines, Mega Global Corp., Metrobank, Mondelez, Nestlé Philippines, NutriAsia, Pilmico Foods Corporation, RFM Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, SM Supermalls, Unilever Philippines, Universal Robina Corporation, Unilab, and Vitarich. 

Manila Bulletin, ABS-CBN, GMA Network, Business World, Philippine Star, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), IKOT.PH, Cobena Business Analytics and Strategy, Inc. Grab Philippines, GCash, PayMaya, Lazada, Shopee, Facebook, Google, TikTok are also part of the food security movement.