PNA

CHEAPER, MORE NUTRITIOUS FOOD. Fresh agricultural products are on sale in Kadiwa ng Pangulo stalls at the Quezon City Hall covered pathwalk on April 16, 2024. AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee on Saturday (July 6, 2024) urged the establishment of permanent Kadiwa centers nationwide to empower farmers and fisherfolk, and make cheap but nutritious food products accessible to more Filipinos. (PNA photos by Ben Briones)

MANILA – Boosting local food supply by optimizing the agriculture sector and empowering farmers and fisherfolk are key to achieving the country’s nutrition goals outlined in the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2023-2028, AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee said Saturday.

“This 50th Nutrition Month, may we be reminded that the latest PPAN underscores food security as a tool to combat nutritional problems among Filipinos. Full support and protection of our farmers and fisherfolk – our food security soldiers – is a must to attain this goal,” Lee said in a news release.

He said this is connected to the Philippine Development Plan’s strategy to boost productivity and resiliency of the local agriculture and fisheries sector to ensure food security and proper nutrition.

Mahalaga na maiangat natin ang sektor ng agrikultura dahil kapag napataas natin ang supply ng pagkain, mapapababa natin ang presyo ng bilihin, at mabibigyan natin ng access ang mas maraming pamilyang Pilipino sa sustansiya na kailangan nila (It is important to uplift the agriculture sector, because if we increase the food supply, prices of commodities will go down, and more Filipino families will have access to their nutritional needs),” Lee said.

He sought the passage of House Bill 3957 or the “Kadiwa Agri-Food Terminal Act,” which mandates the establishment of more Kadiwa centers nationwide as a way to empower agricultural workers and make cheap food products accessible to more Filipinos.

He said if successfully rolled out in every city and municipality, these agri-food terminals would serve as a place where local farmers and fisherfolk can sell their produced goods directly to consumers and the general market.

Kapag naparami at ginawa nating permanente ang Kadiwa centers sa buong bansa, hindi lamang natin matutulungan ang hanapbuhay ng ating nga magsasaka at mangingisda, masisiguro din natin ang kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan na makabibili na nang mas mura at masustanyang pagkain sa kanilang komunidad (If more permanent Kadiwa centers are established nationwide, we not only support the livelihood of our farmers and fisherfolk, we also ensure the health of our countrymen who can now buy cheaper and nutritious food in their communities),” Lee said.

“Filipinos deserve accessible nutrition to help them live a healthier and better life. Sa isang patas at may hustisyang lipunan, dapat walang namamatay sa malnutrisyon at gutom o sa kawalan ng sapat na pagkain (In a fair and just society, nobody should die of malnutrition and hunger or from lack of adequate food).”

Developed by the National Nutrition Council, PPAN serves as the framework to guide government, non-government organizations, the academe, and the private sector in a coordinated effort to reduce malnutrition.

The latest action plan focuses on food security and recognition of the importance of improving nutrition behaviors. (PNA)