Interview of Mr. Cristopher V. Sabal, Media Affairs, Public Relations & International Relations Unit Head and Secretary Noel K. Felongco's/NAPC Spokesperson, with Jhoanna Ballaran from Jiji Press, concerning the consumption of leftovers or unsanitized and recycled food from the garbage otherwise known as "Pagpag".
Mr. Sabal emphasized that this abject situation of pagpag phenomenon should be stopped not only because this is an unsafe practice and against our local food sanitary regulations but mainly because this is not a dignified way of living as a human being. He outlined the following actions that will be initiated by NAPC to hopefully end the problem:
1. NAPC, as part of its mandate, will call for a convergence meeting that would include all the local Government executives where "Pagpag" phenomenon is happening, to call the attention of the concerned Government agencies to ensure that local sanitary laws are strictly implemented.
2. Through the Local Government Units help, all economic activities around pagpag must be stopped, since the supply is coming from the restaurants and fast-food companies, then these companies should be made accountable and be questioned why their food waste are reaching these urban poor communities. Once the supply source is capped and sealed then it will dramatically help eliminate the problem.
3. NAPC and other Government Agencies should create targeted food security programs for these small pockets of extreme poverty in the urban area as a viable food source option since if given other options they will choose these, sometimes our programs have a national scope that we tend to overlook the needs of the statistically insignificant groups. He suggested food stamps instead of monetary stimulus to be given to the food-poor, the inclusion of these LGU's in the Integrated Community Food Production program of NAPC, which was originally designed for rural and far flung communities and LGUs.
4. The Zero-Hunger Task Force of the Cabinet Secretary, a hunger intervention team led by Malacanang to end the hunger problem in the Country should put this issue as a priority.
The interview ended with Mr. Sabal's comment, " The tag line of our hardworking Secretary Noel K. Felongco is " walang maiiwan sa ating laban sa kahirapan", we at the National Anti-Poverty Commission take this by heart, we go to the barrios and hard to reach rural communities and deliver the services of our Government, there is no reason that we cannot help our poor brothers and sisters who are here in the metro, we believe in the spirit of bayanihan so we enjoin everyone to pitch in in carrying our house (the Philippines) to bring it to a better place, where everyone can live with full dignity and pride."