Cebu City Council wants P3M earmarked for food banks in 2022 budget

By: Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 02,2021 - 01:59 PM
Cebu City Council pushing for P3 million budget for implementation of the city's food bank ordinance. In photo is a Cebu City-organized community pantry. | file photo

A Cebu City-organized community pantry is set up at the Senior Citizens’ Park to help Carbon Market vendors put up surplus goods for the public who are suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic. | Photo Courtesy of Cebu City PIO (file photo)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council wants the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) to allocate enough funds for the establishment of a food bank in the city in 2022.

Councilor Alvin Dizon, the author of Ordinance No. 2570 also known as “An Ordinance Establishing a Food Bank in the City of Cebu in Times of Public Health Emergencies and Disasters, Providing Funds Thereof and for Other Purposes” urged the DSWS to earmark a P3 million budget for the implementation of the ordinance.

The ordinance was enacted last August 2020 just as the city came out of the first surge of COVID-19 cases at the start of the pandemic.

“The primordial intent of the aforecited measure is to adopt the food bank strategy as a relief and assistance approach to mobilize food donations for distribution to support communities impacted by the pandemic and for preparation for future disasters and calamities,” said Dizon.

The Cebu City Council agreed with Dizon that the implementation of the Food Bank ordinance should be a priority in the coming year and a budget should be allocated for it.

The Council has requested the DSWS to ensure that the Food Bank implementation is part of the budget allocations for the 2022 annual budget, which the council is set to review and pass before the end of the year.

The Food Bank is an organized manner of collecting food surplus from private partners and distributing the food to those who need them, which can 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.

In previous statements, Councilor Eduardo Rama, Jr., the committee chairperson for social services, is pushing for a budget allocation on the implementation of a Food Bank in the city.

The councilor said he will be proposing to the finance committee to include the establishment of a Food Bank in the next supplemental budget.

Rama finds the necessity to build a Food Bank as a more sustainable version of the community pantry, which became popular early this year, to hopefully sustain the city in times of crisis such as calamities and pandemics.

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TAGS: Cebu City Council, Department of Social Welfare and Services, DSWS, food bank, Food Bank ordinance, P3 million

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