Remulla: Anti-hunger TF still existing

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla confirmed the continuing existence of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger even after the abolition of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, which was initially designated as the head of the task force.

Remulla provided legal clarification, stating, “We opine that, being a completely different entity, the IATF-ZH subsists despite the abolition of the office of its designated chair, i.e., OCS.”

The Justice official issued the legal opinion in response to the query of Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa of the Department of Health regarding the dissolution of the OCS by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The defunct OCS was established in 2020 during the presidency of Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Herbosa raised the issue due to the government’s loan agreement with the World Bank-International Bank, which required IATF-ZH to lead the project steering committee for the Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project.

Since the DoH serves as the lead agency for the PMNP, Herbosa inquired whether the functions of IATF-ZH, as the steering committee lead, could be transferred to the National Nutrition Council Governing Board, which the DoH also chairs. He noted that the membership of the NNC is identical to that of IATF-ZH.

Remulla informed Herbosa that “the government has recently recognized and strengthened IATF-ZH when it issued EO (Executive Order) 27, series of 2023.”



“Under EO 27, the IATF-ZH was reorganized with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary as its Chair and the Executive Director of the NNC as its Co-Chair, in lieu of the Cabinet Secretary,” Remulla stated.

“Further, Section 2 of EO 27 expressly states that except as expressly modified, all other provisions of EO No. 101 shall remain in full force and effect.”

EO 101, issued in 2020, established IATF-ZH and designated the OCS as its chair. Remulla emphasized, “Since the IATF-ZH still exists, its responsibilities, with respect to the PMNP, cannot be transferred to the NNC.”

He clarified that although the loan agreement allows for a successor to IATF-ZH, the continued existence of the inter-agency task force means that it “remains the leader in the Project Steering Committee for the PMNP, as provided in Paragraph I0(A)(1), Schedule 2 of the Loan Agreement.”

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