RICHARD GORDON ON FOOD DONATION ACT
Senator Richard Gordon as Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) led the signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Food Donation Act of 2009 last May 17, 2010 held at the PNRC headquarters.
Present to witness the significant event were Parañaque Congressman Eduardo Zialcita; PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Acting Secretary Celia Capadocia-Yangco; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Austere Panaderos; National Nutrition Council (NNC) Executive Director Maria Bernardita Flores; Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines (ULAP) President Benjamin Abalos, Jr.; and Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines (HRAP) President Humprey O’Leary.
According to Gordon’s closing remarks at the occasion, the Food Donation Act is in fact a breakthrough not only for the PNRC but for the Filipinos as a whole whose 285 peso per day income per family is not enough to feed its 5 family members.
“Hunger has been a chronic problem in the country so I encourage food donations even in normal times as well as in times of catastrophes and emergencies,” said Richard Gordon.
“We are not fostering dependence here. However, the poverty and hunger in the country is growing in absurd proportions that we have to take immediate action and take as much leverage as we can. This measure is not intended to serve as a band-aid solution to the alarming hunger crisis. We also persuade beneficiaries to look for decent employment so that they will become less dependent,” he added.
“Providing food to our underprivileged countrymen is just the start; providing jobs and trainings will be the other half of this program,” pledged Gordon who brought investors and created thousands of jobs in Subic Bay Freeport Zone as the first chairman and administrator of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
According to Olongapo City Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr., the Food Donation Act of Sen. Gordon is a big step in addressing the welfare of the less-fortunate members of society.
To be qualified as food donations, food surpluses should pass all quality and labeling standards enforced by laws and regulations to ensure that all excess food and leftovers collected are fit for human consumption.
Signed by President Gloria Arroyo on November 25, 2009, the Food Donation Act is a consolidated version of Gordon’s Senate Bill No. 150 and Parañaque Representative Eduardo Zialcita’s House Bill No. 420