By Zaldy De Layola

MANILA – A Quezon City legislator recently refiled a bill that institutionalizes a framework to address the country’s problem with food security.

FOOD SECURITY Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas refiles House Bill 4562 or The Right to Adequate Food Framework bill.  The measure seeks to establish guidelines that would ensure food security amid the looming world food crisis.  (PNA file photo) 

House Bill No. 4562, or the Right to Adequate Food Framework Bill, authored by Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, complements the food security program of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

The proposed measure seeks to establish a framework that would ensure food availability, stability and security by establishing well-functioning distribution, processing and market systems.

The Lower House approved on the third and final reading House Bill No. 8242 or the Right to Adequate Food Framework during the 18th Congress. The Senate, however, failed to pass a similar measure, Senate Bill 2128.

Marcos, who is also the concurrent secretary of the Department of Agriculture, has vowed to exhaust all efforts to stabilize food supply and improve food production amid the looming global food crisis as reported by the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Food Programme.

In his speech at the 77th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in September, Marcos emphasized the importance of food as “the very basis of human security.”

In support of the president’s food security programs, Vargas said the bill once enacted into law will serve as a guide and development plan for the country’s commitment to eradicate hunger within a 10-year period.

The guidelines include international cooperation and standards on the minimum amount of food the undernourished must receive.

“Every Filipino family deserves to have enough food on their plates and be free from hunger. When we eradicate hunger, we improve not only the health and wellbeing of individuals, but create better communities and a united nation,” Vargas said in his explanatory note.

“With President Marcos at the helm of establishing modern and resilient agricultural development in the country, I am hopeful that our shared vision of an accessible and adequate food supply for all Filipinos is forthcoming,” he said. (PNA)