“Lahat kasali, lahat kasalo”. This is the rallying call of Pilipinas Kontra Gutom (PKG), a national, multi-sectoral anti-hunger movement that was formally launched on Monday by government and private sector partners that will work together on various programs with a common goal: one million fewer hungry Filipinos by 2022.
With the support of private sector, non-government organizations, and civil society groups, and spearheaded by the government’s Task Force Zero Hunger (TFZH) chaired by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, PKG is adopting a whole-of-nation approach to achieve its immediate and long-term goals of addressing involuntary hunger and malnutrition in the Philippines––an urgent concern given the millions of families that grapple with hunger in the country.
Speaking at the PKG virtual launch program, Nograles thanked all the groups and organizations “that recognize the importance of battling hunger and have committed to work for a hunger-free Philippines.”
“Hunger is a silent enemy that can no longer be ignored; maraming apektado, at maraming kailangan tulungan. In our campaign against hunger, we should be all in, all out––anyone who can pitch in should help, and those who can help should go all out.”
Government partners present during the event include Mr. Mat Maderazo representing the Agriculture Secretary, Assistant Secretary Rodolfo Encabo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Director Lope Santos of the Department of Education, Undersecretary Jim Sampulna of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Nutrition Council Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang, Undersecretary Marlo Iringan of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Undersecretary Ruth Castelo of the Department of Trade and Industry, Dr. Milflor Gonzales of the Department of Science and Technology Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) Assistant Secretary Florentino Loyola of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Assistant Director Cynthia Villena of the National Economic and Development Authority, Director Mary Anne Dela Veqa of the Department of Budget and Management, Director Karen Trayvilla of the Department of Labor and Employment, Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago of the Department of Health, PCOO Bureau of Communication Services Dir. Ma. Florinda Princess E. Duque and Undersecretary Emily Padilla of the Department of Agrarian Reform.
Since being organized in November last year, PKG has grown into a movement that involves around 70 partners from private companies, non-profit groups and various organizations.
The private companies include 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 Philippines, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Kraft Heinz, McDonald’s Philippines, Mega Global Corp. Metrobank, Mondelez, Nestlé Philippines, NutriAsia, Pilmico Foods Corporation, RFM Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, SM Supermalls, Unilever Philippines, Universal Robina Corporation (URC), Unilab, and Vitarich. Organizations and industry associations include: AGREA, Go Negosyo, League of Corporation Foundations, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Philippine Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (PPSA), Scaling Up Nutrition, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines (SCMAP), and UN Global Compact.
Non-government organizations and foundations that have also joined 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.
PKG’s digital and media partners, on the other hand, include Cobena Business Analytics and Strategy, Inc. Grab Philippines, GCash, PayMaya, Lazada, Shopee, Facebook, Google, TikTok, ABS-CBN, GMA Network, Business World, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and IKOT.PH.
Battling hunger, one project at a time
PKG plans to focus on key result areas of concern in order to organize sustainable initiatives for targeted beneficiaries that will address challenges with regard to food availability and accessibility, adequate nutrition, and crises assistance. These are consistent with the Zero Hunger roadmap outlined in the National Food Policy unveiled by TFZH last month.
PKG’s initial projects include the following:
- Farmer assistance: With the end in view of elevating farming as a dignified and sustainable profession, these projects aims to increase farmer income by as much as 20% within the year, and to double farmer productivity by 2025 via the expansion of value chain projects and logistics improvements.
- Sustainable nutrition programs: Projects that will collectively work to achieve zero undernourished Filipino children across all households by 2030 via a strategy that involves campaigns to promote proper breastfeeding, to address malnutrition, and to roll out nutritious meals for Filipino households.
- Disaster response: Private sector companies will work to revolutionize their disaster response in close partnership and coordination with the attached national agencies and local government units in order to streamline the private sector’s efforts to facilitate a prepared, synchronized, and targeted action flow for food security when crises strike.
- Food banking: This effort involves the initiation of food surplus assessments among food manufacturers, restaurants, supermarkets, and public markets in Metro Manila, with the food surplus from donors eventually allocated for distribution to those in need.
In order to promote these projects, to raise awareness regarding hunger, and to invite companies and organizations to join PKG programs, PKG is set to launch a public information campaign, the details of which will be accessible at pilipinaskontragutom.com.