By Charmaine A. Tadalan, January 16, 2020; Business World

The government has formed a task force to eradicate hunger in order to help achieve one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) under the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Executive Order (EO) No. 101 authorizes the formation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger, which will be chaired by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles.

“There is a need to carefully coordinate, rationalize, monitor, and assess the efforts of concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to ensure a whole-of-government approach to eradicating hunger and achieving food security,” according to the EO, dated Jan. 10.

The SDGs are a set of 17 targets aimed at ultimately ending poverty and hunger among other forms of deprivation by 2030. They were adopted by UN member states in 2015.

Aside from hunger and poverty, the SDG also seeks to attain good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation and affordable and clean energy, among others.

The SDG agenda was also one of the guiding documents in the drafting of the government’s medium-term development strategy — the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte designated Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista and Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar as vice chairmen.

Its members will include the secretaries of the Department Agrarian Reform, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Education, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Health, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

The Task Force is directed to formulate a National Food Policy, identifying the country’s problem areas in dealing with hunger and related issues, while developing a road map to achieve zero hunger.

The Task Force will be funded initially from the current appropriations of member agencies.