Labella urged to implement Food Bank ordinance

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 22,2021 - 02:53 PM
scientific basis

Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon is asking Mayor Edgardo Labella to implement the Food Bank ordinance as the need for food has become apparent with the rise of community pantries in the country.

In his privilege speech in the regular session on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, Dizon reminds the mayor that the council passed an ordinance establishing a Food Bank in the City of Cebu which took cognizant about the the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many of the Cebuanos jobless, resulting to involuntary hunger and food insecurity.

Dizon authored this ordinance, which the council passed on August 2020, as a measure to improve food security during the pandemic.

READ: Food banks in Cebu City soon

He said in his speech that a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) last year recorded an estimated 7.6 million Filipino households going hungry due to lack of food especially during the height of the pandemic.

As per SWS, the hunger rate soared to as high to 30.7 percent on the third quarter of last year from just 8.8 percent in 2019. We introduced the Food Bank Ordinance together with like-minded people from the civil society sector because of that shared vision of a society where no one goes hungry in times of disaster and public health emergency.”

“And also because food banks have proven to be a model that works in other countries in the global fight against hunger and food insecurity,” said Dizon.

Under the ordinance, the Food Bank shall be managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) and shall adopt both the “front line” and “warehouse” model.

The frontline model is for the city government to give food directly to the poor and hungry, which Dizon likened to the community pantries that have emerged to cope with the crisis; or the local government set up its own community kitchens in communities with a high incidence of hunger or to prepare meals for victims of disaster or calamity.

Meanwhile, the warehouse model is to store food and supply them to intermediaries like community kitchens and other relief or humanitarian organizations that are doing hunger-relief assistance.

“To date (despite the urgency for the ordinance to be operational so that none of our brothers and sisters will go to bed hungry), our Food Bank ordinance remains unimplemented. I am of the conviction that the government has and must take responsibility and should step up because they have all the resources at their disposal and this is a matter of addressing the most basic of necessities,” said the councilor.

Dizon and the City Council are now appealing to Labella to implement the ordinance to supplement the need for food among the marginalized communities.

READ: Community pantries pop up in Cebu

Furthermore, Dizon encouraged Cebuanos to build their own community pantries while awaiting the Food Bank because this movement would benefit those badly in need.

The mayor is yet to respond to the call of the council, but he has released a statement in support to community pantries around the city.

READ: No permits required for community pantries — Cebu City barangays

He said that these community pantries would need the support of the government, which would be why there would be no permits required to open one as long as it would be in a proper area in the community.

The mayor has also instructed the barangays to monitor and assist the community pantry organizers if need be.


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TAGS: community pantries, Councilor Alvin Dizon, Food Bank ordinance, hunger, Labella

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