Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles.
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the proposal to create an inter-agency task force (IATF) to help eradicate hunger in the country.
In a statement Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Duterte approved the proposal during Monday’s Cabinet meeting in Malacañang.
He noted that the executive order that will pave the way for the creation of Zero Hunger Inter-Agency Task Force is now being finalized.
“The President and the members of the Cabinet recognized that we have to adopt additional measures to combat hunger given how data shows that it is a problem that cannot be ignored,” Nograles said.
Data showed that 2.4 million families experienced moderate to extreme hunger in 2018, 13.7 million Filipino children are undernourished, and that a fifth of Filipinos children until the age of five are underweight.
The former lawmaker said that the new task force will formulate a national food policy to ensure the attainment of zero hunger and poverty eradication, consistent with the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan; rationalize existing domestic laws, decrees, policies and issuances pertinent to the alleviation of hunger and poverty, consistent with international laws and treaty obligations; identify and ensure institutional responsibilities of concerned government agencies and adopt a whole of government approach to implement the directives of the EO; determine key indicators that are measurable in terms of periodic targets for achieving zero hunger and poverty eradication; and monitor government’s compliance of periodic targets, policies and programs set under the EO.
The task force will also coordinate with concerned government agencies and local government units, in consultation with civil society organizations, for the conduct of objective impact assessments on relevant programs of action; create technical working groups or ad hoc committees comprising of relevant government agencies and local government units, in consultation with non-governmental organizations, to effectively address particular concerns relative to the implementation of the EO; and adopt implementing rules and regulations to effectively carry out the objectives of the EO.
Under the proposed EO, the IATF will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Agriculture designated as vice chairs.
Members of the Zero Hunger IATF include the executive secretary and the heads of national agencies, plus the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor, Office of Civil Defense administrator, Commission on Higher Education chairperson, Philippine Commission on Urban Poor chairperson, Philippine Commission on Women chairperson, Food and Drug Administration director general, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director general, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples executive director, National Nutrition Council Executive director, National Anti-Poverty Commission lead convenor, and Food and Nutrition Research Institute director. /jpv
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