(Mar. 30, 2018) In January 2018, the Philippine government and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced the launch of the FAO Legislative Advisory Group-Philippines (FLAG-PH), which will hold discussions on legislative measures concerning food security, agriculture, and nutrition. (FAO, Legislators Launch Pilot Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in the Philippines, FAO (Jan. 17, 2018).)
According to a release issued by FAO,
[t]his parliamentary alliance, initially composed of 10 legislators from both houses of (the Philippine) Congress, is envisaged to tackle national food security and nutrition issues by taking the necessary legislative actions that would [have an] impact on the agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and environment and natural resources sectors.
The launch of FLAG-PH is a pilot initiative by FAO in the Philippines under a larger effort to build a Parliamentary Alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the global level, the FAO Parliamentary Alliance started in 2009, recognizing the need for reinforcing constitutional and legislative provisions to ensure that everyone has a right to adequate, safe, sufficient and nutritious food and to freedom from hunger. (Id.)
An initial consultative meeting of FLAG-PH was held January 28. At that meeting, Senator Cynthia Villar, who chairs the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee, announced she would seek to expedite the passage of certain bills to address food security and nutrition, including an act establishing a continuing national program for hybrid and other quality seed production, and a bill reorganizing the National Food Authority. (Hannah Torregaza, Villar Vows to Hasten Approval of Bills to Spur Growth of Agricultural Industry, MANILLA BULLETIN (Jan. 28, 2018).) She also indicated a bill to make irrigation free for small farmers may be approved soon. (Id.)