DSWD, partner agencies step up drive vs. hunger, poverty

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other national government agencies have stepped up their campaign to end hunger and poverty in the Bicol region.

In an interview on Monday, Alayssa Cabigao, Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) regional program coordinator, said different programs and activities would be conducted in the region after the DSWD and partner government agencies signed a regional memorandum of understanding (MOU) last April 5.

She said that under the MOU, the DSWD and its partner agencies will implement hunger and poverty-related programs and services to address food insecurity, mitigate hunger, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Such programs include those on institutional feeding, capacity-building and training, health and family planning, and support to community-based organizations.

“Twenty one national government agencies (are) renewing their commitments and obligations to provide programs and services that are anchored to mitigate hunger and poverty in the region with DSWD leading the way,” Cabigao said.

These agencies include the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), the Department of Health (DOH), National Nutrition Council (NNC), the Department of Education (DepEd), Land Bank of the Philippines, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Agriculture (DA).

“Some of the strategies and programs implemented are like with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) linking the different Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in the region to market their products with other government agencies and establishments. Instead of getting supplier from commercial organizations, we are helping our ARBOs to showcase their product and ensure food supply. We also have capacity-building programs that help community-based organizations to learn and equip them to be entrepreneurs; institutionalization of feeding programs in their respective activities,” Cabigao said.

In a statement, DSWD-Bicol Regional Director Norman S. Laurio thanked their partner agencies for their cooperation to combat poverty in the region.

“The DSWD recognizes the importance of a ‘Whole of Nation’ approach in the fight against hunger and poverty,” he said. I Connie Calipay

Photo: DSWD V