Duterte admin to prioritize reducing hunger

Published July 22, 2019, 11:27 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Argyll Geducos

Malacañang said that the second half of the Duterte administration will zero in on eradicating hunger in the country by 2030.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (SCREENSHOT / RTVM / FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles
(SCREENSHOT / RTVM / FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the June 2019 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey reinforces the government’s decision to step up its ‘#GoodbyeGutom’ efforts to address hunger by the second half of President Duterte’s term.

Based on the said survey, 35 percent of Filipino families consider themselves as “food poor.” This is eight percentage points higher than the 27 percent families recorded in March 2019.

According to Nograles, even before the new poll came out, President Duterte had already directed members of the Cabinet to align the different anti-hunger and poverty-reduction initiatives of the various agencies so that government programs can be more effective and will have an impact on more Filipinos, especially children.

“Millions of kids benefit from government feeding programs, but there are many more we still have to reach. We still have a lot of work to do to make sure every Filipino child is properly fed until we can finally say #GoodbyeGutom,” he said.

#GoodbyeGutom is the objective of the government’s Expanded Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP), a program involving several departments that will work closely together to eradicate hunger in the country by 2030.

During the Pre-SONA activity in Cebu, Cabinet secretaries from the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster reported that from 2018, 3.6 million children had benefited from government feeding programs.

For School Year 2018-2019, 2.1 million undernourished students were also the beneficiaries of feeding programs. An additional 4.29 million children also benefited from cash subsidies for food from the government’s 4Ps program.

Data in 2018 also revealed that 2.4 million families experienced moderate to extreme hunger in 2018, 13.7 million Filipino children are undernourished, and that a fifth of Filipino children until the age of five are underweight.

To improve government anti-hunger efforts, Nograles said the EPAHP will add more members to its original agencies, which currently include the departments of Agriculture (DA), Agrarian Reform (DAR), and Social Welfare and Development (DWSD).

Other agencies now part of the EPAHP are the departments of Education (DepEd), Health (DOH), the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Science and Technology (DOST), the National Nutrition Council, the National Youth Commission, and Landbank.

Nograles explained that among the priority programs under the EPAHP are provisions for institutional feeding programs; credit support to community-based organizations; capacity-building and productivity improvement for community-based organizations; nutrition education; establishment of agricultural facilities and technologies, food hubs, and other infrastructure facilities; mobilization of funding, technical and research assistance from development and local partners; and advocacy and education.

 
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