Malacañang will soon issue an executive order (EO) creating a Zero Hunger Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) composed of members of the Cabinet that “will seek to eradicate hunger in the country by 2030.”

According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the proposal during the Cabinet meeting last night, and that the issuance was just being finalized before being released to the public.

The Palace official said, “the President and the members of the Cabinet recognize that we have to adopt additional measures to combat hunger given how data shows that it is problem that cannot be ignored.”

Nograles, a former Davao 1st District Representative revealed that data showed that 2.4 million families experienced moderate to extreme hunger in 2018, 13.7 million Filipino children are undernourished, and that a fifth of Filipinos children until the age of five are underweight.

“It is apparent that current efforts aren’t enough, and that at this point an inter-agency task force that can focus and align the different work being done to address the different aspects of hunger is needed,” Nograles said.

The Cabinet Secretary said that the the new task force will formulate a national food policy to ensure the attainment of zero hunger and poverty eradication, consistent with the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan; rationalize existing domestic laws, decrees, policies and issuances pertinent to the alleviation of hunger and poverty, consistent with international laws and treaty obligations; identify and ensure institutional responsibilities of concerned government agencies and adopt a whole of government approach to implement the directives of the EO; determine key indicators that are measurable in terms of periodic targets for achieving zero hunger and poverty eradication; and monitor government’s compliance of periodic targets, policies and programs set under the EO.

Under the proposed EO, the IATF will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, with the Department of Social Development and Welfare and Department of Agriculture designated as vice chairs.

Included also as members of the Zero Hunger IATF are Executive Secretary and the heads of national agencies, plus the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor, Office of Civil Defense Administrator, Commission on Higher Education Chairperson, Philippine Commission on Urban Poor Chairperson, Philippine Commission on Women Chairperson, Food and Drug Administration Director General, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Executive Director, National Nutrition Council Executive Director, National Anti-Poverty Commission Lead Convenor, and Food and Nutrition Research Institute Director.