Press Release
May 13, 2006


Senator Richard Gordon yesterday urged his colleagues in Congress for the immediate passage of Senate Bill 1710 also known as the Food Donation Act to address the increasing hunger rate in the country and help out the sixteen million less fortunate Filipinos who cannot provide for their basic food requirements.

This type of donation is nothing new. Countries like the United States, Britain, and Canada carry out similar programs to help out the poor and forgotten people of their society. We are faced by an almost similar problem, why not do the same? Gordon said.

The National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) estimates that more than sixteen million Filipinos are below the food or subsistence threshold in the year 2000.

These are the people whose incomes fail to provide them with basic food requirements. The figure are very alarming and we cannot deny the countrys food shortage dilemma, however, what we should do is not to fix the blame but to fix the problem, Gordon emphasized.

Gordon added that large amounts of excess food are wasted everyday by fast food chains, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and even parties like wedding, birthdays and fiestas. These food surpluses meet all quality and labeling standards as imposed by current laws and regulations but are already non-marketable due to quality purposes.

On the one hand, we have a problem with hunger caused by poverty, and on the other hand, a problem with food wastage. These can be tackled simultaneously via a food donation scheme. It starts with surplus food being donated, collected, and then distributed to our needy citizens, Gordon stressed.

He also disclosed that there will be no legal liability on the donor or volunteers part except if gross negligence and/or intentional misconduct are made during food donation and its related activities.

Gordon, added that collection and distribution can be done by charity or volunteer groups like the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).

Gordon, who is also Chairman of the PNRC further explained that collected food can also be distributed and stored in various frequently typhoon stricken provinces and become ready for dissemination during disasters. He added that relief operations during calamities have been a long time problem of the country but we still have not addressed it accordingly.

It is expected that the people will counter by saying that food donation will only cause the beneficiaries to be dependent on their donors and will no longer strive to work. The opposite is quite true. A food donation drive will create new linkages between the beneficiaries and the donors may create job opportunities to the latter, they will be able to acquire new skills as well as a sustainable source of income which they can use to maintain their nutrition and other basic day-to-day needs, said Gordon.

For the donor, food donation is a form of Corporate Social Responsibility that may positively contribute to their reputation and image. Studies show that CSR is one of the factors that consumers consider when purchasing products or services.

Helping the needy children now may mean securing a customer base support in the future for the donor companies or groups, he noted.

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