Press Release
October 16, 2009

Gordon to PGMA: Sign Food Donation Bill to alleviate hunger

Senator Richard J. Gordon ( Ind. ) today urged the President to immediately sign into law the Food Donation bill stressing that it would alleviate hunger that is being experienced by millions of Filipinos most especially in times of calamities.

Gordon made the statement in time for the World Food Day, which is celebrated every 16th of October.

In line with the occasion, the United Nations' World Food Programme released its annual report on global food security which stated that the food crisis in poor countries and the global economic crisis has caused a spike in world hunger. It added that no nation is immune to hunger and it is the poorest countries that are suffering the most.

Noting that this year's theme for the World Food Day is "Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis", the senator pointed out that the Food Donation bill would help the government in its hunger mitigation program while it is in the course of implementing measures that would ensure food security.

"Hunger is an issue of primary importance to the national economy, as it affects a huge majority of Filipino families. The Food Donation bill aims to alleviate human suffering and decrease national poverty incidence by reducing food wastage," Gordon said.

He explained that Senate Bill 150 (Food Donation Act), which he authored, seeks to help out less fortunate Filipinos who cannot provide for their basic food requirements. The bill has already been approved by both houses of Congress and is expected to be transmitted soon to the Office of the President to be signed into law.

"With the back-to-back typhoons that wrought damage to many parts of the country, and the looming storms that might hit us, it would be hard to sustain the supply of food for victims of disasters. A huge number of our countrymen go hungry during the typhoon season," said Gordon, who is also chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross.

"But we see an excess of untouched food in hotels and restaurants that is just thrown away because restaurant owners cannot give it away. With the food donation bill, they can donate clean and untouched excess food, at the same time, we could mitigate hunger that is most prevalent during times of calamities," he said.

He pointed out that the bill aims to breach hunger but is not intended as a dole-out. The idea is to collect surplus or excess food, and NOT leftovers, from parties, buffets and from hotels, restaurants and fast food chains. Milk products would not be included since they have a short shelf life.

Apart from helping alleviate hunger among disaster victims, the measure seeks to help out the 3.7 million Filipino families who cannot provide for their basic food requirements.

"Through this measure, we can teach the poor to create food opportunities for themselves. We are giving them a helping hand until they can regain their ability to feed themselves and therefore get back their dignity," Gordon said.

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