PhilRights Statement on the Right to Adequate Food Framework Bill (HB 3795)
The Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights), a non-government organization actively engaged in human rights research, education and information work, supports the Right to Adequate Food Framework Bill and calls upon Members of the Philippine Congress to urgently enact the bill into law.
What makes the bill unique and significant? It is a bill that provides a framework, a perspective on why the right to adequate food should be fulfilled by the State and the approach and manner of how the right to adequate food should be met. And that is the rights-based approach (RBA).
The right to adequate food is a human right recognized by the Philippines by virtue of its ratification of several key international human rights laws, namely the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights (Art. 11), Convention on the Rights of the Child (Art. 24.2c), and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Art. 12.2). It is a right which every Filipino should enjoy by virtue of its interconnection with the realization of other human rights such as the rights to life, health, education, work, freedom of religion,association and peaceful assembly.
The passage of a law which provides the legal framework for the enjoyment of the right to adequate food by the Filipino people is highly critical for the State to comply its human rights obligation. It is essential in the development of policies, programs, projects and measures that will address the problems of hunger and malnutrition, monopoly ownership of land and other natural resources, inequitable and lack of access to sources for food production, environmental destruction, and unfair international agreements. It is an important legislation which when passed and effectively implemented will ensure the enjoyment of the right to adequate food by the Filipino people, especially the most vulnerable.
We call upon the members of the 16th Philippine Congress to perform a historic act for which they will be remembered by immediately passing the Right to Adequate Food Framework Bill. This will be a legacy which the present and future generations will substantially benefit from.
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* Read by Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan during the Human Rights Committee Hearing on House Bill No. 3795, May27, 2014, Mitra Hall, House of Representatives, Batasan Pambansa, Quezon City
Photos: Astrud Beringer/FIAN Philippines