[Statement] World Food Day Statement By National Food Coalition

World Food Day Statement
By National Food Coalition

On the occasion of World Food Day, 16 October 2013, the National Food Coalition renews
its call for the adoption of a comprehensive food policy by the Philippines. There is an
urgent need for a framework law on the right to adequate food to give expression to this
policy, and such a law should adopt a rights-based approach. The right to food is the right of
the people to have regular, permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or through
purchases, to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food, which
corresponds to their cultural traditions, and which ensure a physical and mental, individual
and collective, fulfilling and dignified life that is free of fear.

NFC

The framework law should ensure people’s participation, accountability of those who violate
it, non-discrimination on account of sex, age or any other basis, transparency or open access
to information, respect for human dignity, empowerment of the people, and respect for the
rule of law. It must develop indicators for determining levels of improvement in the
enjoyment of the right to adequate food, and it should provide for effective remedies in
cases of violations, including criminal, civil and administrative liabilities on the part of
violators.

We reiterate this call, at this crucial time, when public demand is growing for the abolition of
the pork barrel, which members of the Philippine Congress have been dispensing as if it
were their own money. This fund has been abused, and public outrage has grown over
reports of corruption arising from misuse of these funds. Any new form of pork that retains
the basic feature of being discretionary and lacking in transparency will just perpetuate
corruption that drains resources away from public services needed by the people.

The amounts from the pork barrel that have found their way to the pockets of unscrupulous
government officials and their cohorts are precious funds that could have been used to
provide for the people’s basic needs, to promote their fundamental human rights, and to
advance the cause of their human dignity. Rather than continue the pork barrel, the
Philippine Government should consider more worthwhile measures. These include a
comprehensive program to end hunger in the Philippines. The Government should provide
for the necessary financial and other support to realize zero-hunger in the Philippines.

Contact Persons:
Aurea Miclat-Teves, Convenor, NFC, 0918-991-1910;
Bombi Sunga, FLAG lawyer- 0917-854-2124

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