DAVAO CITY (MindaNews s/ 29 May) – City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said during a forum here on malnutrition Wednesday that the Philippines may never achieve food security.
“I don’t think it is really coming to us. We will forever be importing rice,” he lamented at the “Generation Nutrition” forum, which is part of a global campaign to step up action from governments to stop young children from dying of acute malnutrition.
“It’s a terrible thing to die hungry,” Duterte said.
On the same day, the mayor signed an executive order on the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) in the city. The ACF (Action Contre la Faim or Action Against Hunger) International and UNICEF introduced the IMAM to the city government.
The local government unit allotted P6.5 million for the initial phase of the program, wherein children below five years old with severe and moderate acute malnutrition are enrolled to the program and provided with ready-to-use therapeutic food in four months.
“More than our people to be fed is for our country to grow,” Duterte said.
He stressed that the Philippines has been left behind by its ASEAN neighbors because of “mass corruption,” which according to him is being exercised every election.
“Apparently, we have destroyed our environment in this generation,” Duterte said. He added that the country is not industrialized but all the more that food sufficiency will not be achieved because of climate change.
He said Mindanao is supposed to be the country’s food basket, but it is not ready to go full-scale agriculturally because of the “historical injustice committed against the Moro people.”