Press Release
June 14, 2009

Prevalence of hunger in RP appalls Gordon

Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) is appalled at the growing hunger rate in the country that 80 percent of Filipinos only spend eight pesos or less than ten pesos for a meal these days.

Gordon issued the statement in reaction to the result of the Family Income Expenditure Survey conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) last year which showed that 80 percent of Filipino families, consisting of an average of five members, spend only P40 per meal per day.

"I am very aghast at the survey result. It is horrifying that most Filipino families cannot even afford to buy food, which is the most basic need," he said.

"Given that the survey was conducted last year, I am sure that the economic crunch that is battling the globe today has not improved the situation of our countrymen," he said.

Though there is a prevalence of hunger in the country, large amounts of untouched food that are still fit for human consumption are thrown out everyday by hotels, restaurants, fast food chains, supermarkets, and even in parties like weddings, birthdays and fiestas.

To address the problem of hunger and to curtail food wastage Gordon filed Senate Bill 150 or the Food Donation Act of 2009, which is not intended as a dole out but to help Filipinos who are below the food or subsistence threshold that has reached more than sixteen million in 2000.

Under the proposed measure, a central agency, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, will be designated to collect surplus food from hotels, fast food chains, restaurants, supermarkets and parties.

The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) and accredited non-government organizations (NGOs) that are already in similar advocacies can repack the collected food and distribute them to Filipinos who cannot afford to feed themselves and to victims of typhoons and other calamities.

Gordon underscored the need to enact SB 150 into law to reach out to those who do not have the capability to feed themselves.

The proposed measure was passed on second reading in the Senate before Congress went on recess last June 6.

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