News | 07-03-2014
Philippines Income and Social Security Monitoring and Accountability

“Zero Hunger Bill” brings the end of hunger closer in the Philippines

The ‘Right to Adequate Food Bill’ is now filed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines

Sectoral Representatives from the National Food Coalition. Photo: Astrud Beringer/FIAN Philippines

Quezon City - The National Food Coalition (NFC) proudly announced on February 24, 2014 that a major step has been taken toward ending hunger in the Philippines with the filing of the 'Zero Hunger Bill', or 'The Right to Adequate Food Bill', in the Senate (Senate Bill 2137) after its filing in the House of Representatives on February 3, 2014.

The NFC is now calling for an all-out support for this bill, which aims to end hunger in the Philippines within ten years by making food not only a matter of charity but a matter of legal entitlement. According to Aurea M. Teves, convenor of the NFC and president of FIAN Philippines, the 'Zero Hunger Bill' will establish the right to food as a governmental priority that will entail the adoption of a comprehensive food program, using a full government approach, backed up by necessary financial and other support.

Composed of over 50 organizations and federations with more than 10,000 members from the urban poor, peasants, indigenous peoples, fisherfolk and the middle class, the NFC has highlighted the main drivers of hunger in the country are poverty, inequality and the resulting failure of the poor to access available resources.

According to Rosario Tan, from the district Payatas, "many people eat pagpag which is left over food thrown away by other people or restaurants as garbage". Rosario believes that lack of work is the main reason for hunger. Vic Obina, an urban poor person from Pasig, says that in order to survive, "kailangan may apat kang sideline - you need four additional jobs". For them, to be hungry means to sacrifice. "(It is) either food for education, education for food, or both for other daily needs".

The NFC argues, however, that the passing of the 'Zero Hunger Bill' could release people from starvation and could institutionalize the necessary means to make adequate food accessible to everyone, as it adopts a human rights-based approach to ensure non-discrimination, dignity and respect for all.

More information

Visit FIAN Philippines Facebook page