MANILA, Philippines – Some 12.2 million poor Filipinos nationwide would receive food assistance from the government following the signing of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Food Donation Act of 2009, acting Social Welfare Secretary Celia Yangco said.
Yangco stressed the signing of the IRR would implement the provisions of the law that would complement the hunger mitigation program of the government.
Republic Act 9803 or the Food Donation Act of 2009, authored by Sen. Richard Gordon, was signed into law on Nov. 25, 2009.
The law aims to benefit some 12.2 million Filipinos who, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), lived below the food or subsistence threshold.
Under the IRR, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is the principal coordinating agency along with the Philippine National Red Cross as auxiliary for the implementation.
Red Cross volunteers and other non-government organizations (NGOs) are tasked to collect all food donations from fast-food chains, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and even during parties like weddings, birthdays and fiestas and distribute these to the poor.
“To be considered as food donations, the food surpluses should meet all quality and labeling standards as imposed by current laws and regulations,” Yangco explained.
She said Gordon, as the author of the law, had explained the idea is to collect excess food, not leftovers.
Gordon had said the measure is not intended as a dole- out but a breach to hunger while the recipients are looking for decent employment.
Yangco said the law would benefit some 12.2 million people who could not even provide for their daily basic food requirements. –Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)