Press Release
January 12, 2011

Legarda: Boost People's Food Self-Sufficiency to Mitigate Hunger

Senator Loren Legarda today called on the government to establish programs that would boost the citizens' self-sufficiency in food to help mitigate hunger.

Legarda made the statement following the release of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results on the rate of hunger in the country.

The survey, conducted from November 27 to 30, 2010, showed that 18.1% of Filipinos or about 3.4 million families experienced hunger in the past three months.

While the government said that it expects hunger incidence to reduce in the next months with the implementation of the conditional cash transfer program, the Senator said that food self-sufficiency would help further alleviate hunger and poverty for the long-term.

"The principle we have to use here is that which a popular proverb tells us: 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.' We can help our people through the CCT program, but we also have to teach them how to maximize the use of that money," Legarda said.

"I also urge local officials in provinces, municipalities and barangays to conduct food production campaigns to boost food self-sufficiency. One example is the backyard vegetable program in every household and in vacant spaces in the communities. This could also be done in public elementary schools to address malnutrition among schoolchildren," she added.

Legarda said that food sufficiency is necessary to improve the people's living standards. It would also help the government in its effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.

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