Rama to push for budget allocation on Food Bank in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Eduardo Rama, Jr. is pushing for a budget allocation on the implementation of a Food Bank in Cebu City.
This after the spread of community pantries in the city indicated that more people need food especially those gravely affected by the economic devastation of the pandemic.
Rama said that the ordinance authored by Councilor Alvin Dizon was passed for this reason and because it is now an ordinance, it is a viable project that can be allocated with a budget.
The Food Bank is an organized manner of collecting food surplus from private partners and distributing the food to those who need them, which could include indigents or victims of disasters.
Under the ordinance, 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 that are doing hunger-relief assistance in times of public health emergencies and disasters.
“The food bank is a step towards the right direction. We have an existing ordinance, now, it’s all about pushing the department heads. I think that allocating a budget is not a problem because when the ordinance was approved naay initial nga budget didto,” said Rama.
The councilor said he will be proposing to the finance committee to include the establishment of a Food Bank in the next supplemental budget.
This way establishing a food bank will be hastened knowing that the current trend of community pantries may not be sustainable in the long run and the city needs a long-term solution to the hunger problem.
Rama finds the necessity to build a Food Bank as a more sustainable version of the community pantry that can hopefully sustain the city in times of crisis such as calamities and pandemics.
“Halos tanan nanginahanglan. There is a reason why a form of a food bank, the community pantries, is sprouting all over the country because many are hungry, many need assistance. Sometimes, the government cannot do everything and we need the help of the private sector,” said the councilor.
The Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) said they are most willing to implement the ordinance if a budget has been allocated for it.
Portia Basmayor, the DSWS head, said that the Food Bank would really help the city provide more help to the public in a more systemic way.
“Mas nindot gyod ang Food Bank kay sa community pantry ang makadawat kato ra pung molinya. Sa Food Bank, maidentify nato kinsa tong mga pamilya nga nanginahanglan gyod,” she said.
Basmayor added that the department will be recommending to the council to implement the Food Bank ordinance as well so that the city will have its own systemic and long-term community pantry. /rcg
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