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Private sector adds 17 priority areas for hunger response

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Private sector adds 17 priority areas for hunger response
The 17 areas selected by the private sector members of the Pilipinas Kontra Gutom campaign are Palawan, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Abra, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Kalinga, Albay and Zambales, all in Luzon; Biliran, Antique and Southern Leyte in the Visayas; and Basilan, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Camiguin and Zamboanga Sibugay in Mindanao.
KJ Rosales, file

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s private sector partners in its anti-hunger drive have added 17 priority areas for their action plan to uplift one million Filipinos from hunger by next year.

McDonald’s managing director Margot Torres said the provinces were selected based on the incidents of malnutrition and poverty, the same indicators used by the government in identifying the initial 32 priority areas.

The 17 areas selected by the private sector members of the Pilipinas Kontra Gutom campaign are Palawan, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Abra, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Kalinga, Albay and Zambales, all in Luzon; Biliran, Antique and Southern Leyte in the Visayas; and Basilan, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Camiguin and Zamboanga Sibugay in Mindanao.

“While the long-term goal is to end hunger by 2030, we’ve set an immediate, realistic goal of uplifting one million Filipinos from hunger by 2022,” Torres said.

“As the multi-sectoral collaboration continues, we have mapped out where in the Philippines there are existing programs to guide us in synergizing energies and prioritizing future efforts,” she added.

The 32 priority areas selected by the government’s Task Force Zero Hunger were Camarines Sur, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Bukidnon, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Zamboanga del Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar,  Western Samar, Lanao del Norte, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Agusan del Sur, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga del Sur, Davao del Sur, Apayao, Sorsogon, Siquijor, Davao Occidental and Surigao del Sur.

The movement, composed of about 70 companies, non-government organizations and digital and media organizations, seeks to address hunger by helping boost food production, ensuring access to safe and nutritious food and ending malnutrition, especially among children below five years old and pregnant and lactating women.

It also aims to provide assistance during crisis periods like the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, review existing policies and ensure that programs are supportive of sustainability and environmental protection goals.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the government is working to ensure that its feeding and nutrition programs would reach the public as it prepares for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

“As we go past this pandemic toward the new normal, we must continue to improve our zero-hunger initiatives and study hunger trends so we can formulate better policies and implement better programs to end hunger. We must not let our guard down,” Nograles said.

The private companies that are part of the Pilipinas Kontra Gutom are Aboitiz, AXA, Bayer, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Cargill, Century Pacific Food Inc., Coca-Cola, East West Seed, Dole Philippines, Harbest, JG Summit Holdings Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Johnson Philippines, Jollibee Foods Corp., Kraft Heinz, McDonald’s Philippines, Mega Global Corp., Metrobank, Mondelez, Nestlé Philippines, NutriAsia, Pilmico Foods Corp., RFM Corp., San Miguel Corp., SM Supermalls, Unilever Philippines, Universal Robina Corp., Unilab and Vitarich.

Organizations and industry associations include AGREA, Go Negosyo, League of Corporation Foundations, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Philippine Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture, Scaling Up Nutrition, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines and UN Global Compact.?Non-government organizations and foundations in the movement are ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Aboitiz Foundation, Ayala Foundation, Caritas, Gawad Kalinga, GMA Kapuso Foundation, Jollibee Group Foundation, Kabisig ng Kalahi, Manila Water Foundation, Metrobank Foundation, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Project PEARLS, Rise Against Hunger Philippines and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The movement’s digital and media partners include The Philippine STAR, Cobena Business Analytics and Strategy Inc., Grab Philippines, GCash, PayMaya, Lazada, Shopee, Facebook, Google, TikTok, ABS-CBN, GMA Network, BusinessWorld, Manila Bulletin, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and IKOT.PH.

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