This summary review is based on An Assessment of the Philippine Legal Framework Governing the Right to Food, co-authored by Virgilio R. de los Reyes and Maria Socorro I. Diokno (October 2008). The authors were contracted by the Asia-Pacific Policy Center for the Food and Agriculture Organization’s project “Developing methods and instruments to implement the right to food.” Words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs in quotation marks are direct quotes from the original work.
In assessing the country’s legal framework, De los Reyes and Diokno (2008) were guided by the definition and normative elements of the right to adequate food, as well as obligations arising from it, articulated by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in General Comment 12, The right to adequate food (Art.11).2
The Committee defines the right to adequate food as the right of “every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, [to have] physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement.” The right to adequate food is both freedom from hunger and entitlement to food that meets dietary needs, is free from adverse substances, is culturally acceptable, is in large enough quantities, is physically and economically accessible, and constitutes a sustainable supply for present and future generations. The Committee also described the obligations arising from the right to adequate food, including:
(a) the obligation of progressive realization, which requires states to take steps, through all appropriate means, with maximum use of available resources, to progressively achieve the right to adequate food;