A multi-sectoral movement that aims to address the root of involuntary hunger and eventual eradication of hunger in the Philippines was launched on Tuesday.

CHILDREN - ‘Pilipinas Kontra Gutom’ movement launched
(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles led the virtual launch of the “Pilipinas Kontra Gutom,” a movement led by the inter-agency Task Force Zero Hunger.

Government agencies, together with groups from the different sectors such as academe, non-profit organizations, private corporations and the general public, will be working hand in hand to address the roots of involuntary hunger, including challenges in food production, food distribution and accessibility, hidden hunger and malnutrition.

Hunger persists as a complex, multidimensional problem which we face as a nation, Nograles, who chairs the Task Force Zero Hunger, said.

“The road to zero waste hunger is so daunting,” he added, citing the 2020 Global Hunger Index where the Philippines ranked 69 among 117 countries with a score of 19.0 that means the country “suffers from a level of hunger classified as moderate.”

To make the hunger problem “less intimidating and more bite-sized,” he stressed that everyone must start with the most pressing need now before even more people become hungry due to the pandemic and storm destructions.

Pilipinas Kontra Gutom aims to provide sustainable solutions on food availability, increased food accessibility, adequacy of food nutrition, and assistance in hunger-stricken communities during time of calamities. 

“This movement calls on all organizations and each and every Filipino to help our fellow Filipinos. Lahat kasali, lahat kasalo. Everyone must be involved and everyone must contribute so everyone will be able to partake of a meal so we can end hunger together,” Nograles said.

It seeks to gather support from organizations, companies and groups through programs that help farmers and food producers; malnutrition advocacy for kids below five years old and below two years old as well as pregnant women and lactating mothers; assistance through meal donations during a crisis, among others. 

These support the roadmap to achieving zero hunger and the key result areas outlined in the National Food Policy that was unveiled during the 2020 World Food Day celebrated on Oct. 16

Nograles acknowledged the participation of founding members from the private sector, namely Coca-Cola, Dole Philippines, Johnson & Johnson Philippines, McDonald’s, Metrobank, and San Miguel Corporation.

Initially, 100,000 meals will be provided to the identified communities in the National Capital Region and key priority areas through Ronald McDonald House Charities’ McDonald’s Kindness Kitchen. 

In addition to the initial demonstration of commitment to provide food for the affected communities, 3,000 infant kits for children below two years old will also be distributed. 

As solving the problem on hunger and providing sustainable solutions require greater participation from various sectors of society, Pilipinas Kontra Gutom invited other companies, the academe, and non-government organizations to join the movement.

It also called on the public and those who want to help provide food for more Filipino communities especially during this crisis to donate through rmhc.org.ph.

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