House Deputy Majority Leader Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar is batting for the creation of a commission that would ensure adequate food supply during calamities or crises, like the recent eruptive episode of Taal Volcano.
The creation of the Commission on the Right to Adequate Food is among the main features of Villar’s House Bill (HB) no.5785, also known as the “Right to Adequate Food Framework Act.”
“Adequate food is not a matter of charity, but a legal entitlement. Hunger is inconsistent with human dignity and human rights, and must be eliminated. The State shall provide for a framework to address and eliminate hunger.” Villar said.
According to the lady solon, the Commission will be the primary policy-making and coordinating body to guaranteee the implementation and full exercise of the right to adequate food. It will be directly under the Office of the President.
It will enjoy monitoring and oversight functions, apply human rights principles, conduct objective impact assessment on all government policies, programs and projects prior to adoption and implementation, work in close cooperation with civil society organizations and use all available resources of the government and private bodies or organizations.
Specifically, during times of crisis, Villar said the Commission–in coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)–should ensure that the government’s food emergency responses sufficiently cover both early warning responses and disaster preparedness; and that food responses are organized and managed efficiently, effectively, and are compliant with the right to adequate food and relevant international standards.
“Once established, the Commission will act as an additional safety net for people living in high-risk areas since they are the most vulnerable when it comes to natural calamities and disasters. The eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas last month showed that the government should always be prepared to handle mass evacuations and to provide adequate nourishment for the displaced families until the situation goes back to normal,” Villar said.