Leaders discuss issues on hunger in Mindanao

“How is it possible that we have hunger in Mindanao?” asked Irene M. Santiago, Chair of the Mindanao Commission on Women. “We have to look at what is causing families in Mindanao to continually suffer from hunger in a land of abundant natural resources. Then, we must be able to come up with policy recommendations to ensure food availability and accessibility for all and not only a few.”

Dr. Mahar Mangahas of Social Weather Stations (SWS) will present the statistics gathered in the SWS hunger surveys.  MEDCO Executive Director Janet Lopoz will present the various government programs on enhancing food security in Mindanao, and Dr. Edwin Hondrade of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM)-Kabacan “Pagkain sa Masa” will present the program’s experiences.

The discussion will bring together a small group of policymakers, program implementors, researchers and representatives from the farmers/fishers organizations, business and finance sector to brainstorm on advocacy projects for food security in Mindanao.  This includes the formulation of policy recommendations for adoption by the public and private sectors as well as civil society organizations.

This activity is part of the "Another Mindanao is Possible!" program that provides avenues for the various sectors in Mindanao to come together to discuss and work towards Mindanao peace and development.

Under this program, the multisectoral campaign "Mindanao Rising!" was born out of a series of consultations with some of Mindanao’s top leaders, and is founded on the following principles: 1) Mindanao asserting its rightful place in the country as a self-determining, peaceful region, 2) Mindanao as wealth-creating and productive—its wealth and productivity shared equitably, and 3) Mindanao as every Mindanawon’s personal responsibility in his/ her collective journey of transformation. (Mindanao Commission on Women)