Tell it to SunStar: Poverty and hunger

WE encourage everyone to pray for our nation’s food security and sustainability. We are facing a global threat of food shortage that if not properly addressed by the government and other leading bodies in the world would result to a kind of plague.

“More families experienced involuntary hunger in 4th quarter of 2017,” according to CNN Philippines. In its December 2017 poll, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) found out that 15.9 percent, or an estimated 3.6 million families did not have “enough” food to eat at least once in very three months. The figure is up from the estimated 2.7 million families or 11.8 percent who experienced involuntary hunger in the SWS’s September 2017 survey.

According to the survey, involuntary hunger is experienced when there is lack of food to eat. It classifies experiencing hunger “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months as moderate hunger, while going hungry “often” or “always” in the last three months is severe hunger.

This proved that majority of Filipinos can no longer support and sustain regular food and this is very alarming. Although the poll was conducted among 1,200 adults nationwide from December 8 to 16, it merely reflects the actual condition of our country in relation to food security and sustainability.

We call on the government to pour large support to rice farmers. The local rice industry should promote un-modified seedlings and native methods like organic farming and community based and people-centered development.

Government should also provide necessary and sufficient production support and subsidies to rice farmers like free water irrigation, seedlings, non-GM farm inputs, post-harvest facilities, marketing assistance, socialized mechanization of agriculture, free technical and scientific training with pro-people and nationalist orientation.

For the maximum, we are encouraging everyone to join us in our campaign and humbly pray to God that the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill would be passed in Congress and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade-World Trade Organization (GATT-WTO) be scrapped. We firmly believe that by passing the said bill and swerving away from GATT-WTO, at least, we can address the old feudal problems of our farmers. As a nation, we can exercise the sweet promise of our sovereignty and democracy.

Collective prayer is powerful and addressing hunger and poverty is such a noble purpose. Working for the benefit of mankind is a way of expressing faith and conviction to serve the will of God. On the other hand, it’s a way of protecting God’s creation and following God’s command.

For Genesis 1:28 is clear, “and God blesses them, and God said unto them be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moved upon the earth.”

As we work hand-in-hand, nothing is impossible and as we join the crusade and struggle to end poverty and hunger, we are certain that we are following correctly the will and path of Christ.--Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes, Inc.
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