Cebu City dad pushes for food banks for disasters, public health emergencies

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | May 01,2020 - 02:10 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon is proposing an ordinance establishing food banks in the city for disasters and public health emergencies. 

“No one should go hungry during a disaster and public health emergency, and the local government has to scale up its interventions to mobilize help from the private sector, and the food bank model is one strategy that could help effectively respond to the coronavirus outbreak in the local communities,” said Dizon. 

Dizon said the food bank shall adopt both the “front line” model, which is giving out food directly to the poor and hungry, and the “warehouse” model, which is supplying food to intermediaries like community kitchens and other frontline organizations who are doing hunger-relief assistance in times of public health emergencies and disaster.

In the proposed ordinance, the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) will be running the food bank, establishing the necessary system to run it safely. 

The DSWS is assigned to analyze food supply chains; develop a food distribution network based on census tract and socio-geographical studies on the city’s vulnerable communities; use the power of algorithms to create an emergency supply chain network that is dynamic, efficient; and responsive to the actual and/or anticipated needs of the population; and implement self-sufficiency programs like growing food in home and community gardens. 

These plans shall be revisited and updated every year.

“In times of disaster and public health emergency, addressing the fundamental need for safe, adequate and nutritious food of the Cebuanos particularly the marginalized and disadvantaged communities and most vulnerable groups should be a top priority of the local government and has to be urgently met, not as a gesture of charity, but is a matter of right,” said Dizon. 

The ordinance will be proposed during the special session this Friday afternoon, May 1, 2020. /bmjo

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TAGS: Alvin Dizon, Cebu City, councilor, COVID-19, disasters, food banks, public health emergencies, session

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