Church urges gov’t to pass zero hunger bill
The social arm of the Philippine Catholic Church has urged President Benigno Aquino III to certify as urgent the pending “zero hunger bill” in Congress.
In a report by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday, Caritas Philippines sought the help of dioceses and civic-minded groups all over the country to support its petition to prioritize the passage of House Bill No. 3795 or the Right to Adequate Food Framework Act of 2014.
“Let this be part of our efforts and commitment to work in solidarity with the poor,” said Caritas chair Archbishop Rolando Tirona. “Let it be our concrete expression of our mercy and compassion as we celebrate the Year of the Poor.”
The bill aims to end hunger in the Philippines in 10 years through a comprehensive food security program by the government.
“By gathering signatures, the Church’s social action arm urged President Aquino to certify the bill ‘as urgent’ to expedite its passage,” CBCP said.
Tirona said the passage of the measure could prevent deaths resulting from hunger and starvation, which he called the “number one source of mortality.”
“The right to food is a basic right that must be upheld and fulfilled by the duty holder of our government,” Tirona added.
The Caritas Philippines petition is in support of the “One Human Family, Food for All” 2015 campaign of Caritas Internationalis, a global confederation of Catholic charities considered the largest social arm of the Catholic Church in the world.
On May 14, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was elected the first Asian president of Caritas Internationalis during the confederation’s 20th general assembly in Rome.
Citing the results of an independent survey by Caritas Internationalis as announced by Tagle during Caritas Day at Milan Expo 2015, the report said one of the ways to end hunger is to help farmers in their plight with climate change and lack of resources.
“The study highlighted that the lack of resources, low agricultural productivity, and the impact of climate change are among the causes of food insecurity,” CBCP said. RC
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