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EPAHP PARTNERS ASSESS ANTI-HUNGER PLAN – NOGRALES

Key officials of partner agencies participating in the Duterte administration’s  Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program met a year after its creation to assess and formulate directions for the anti-hunger and anti-poverty initiative.

“It was December 9 of 2019 that we signed a MOU for EPAHP, which is the banner program of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger,” recalled Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Task Force head.

“We established this to achieve higher agricultural yields among our farmers, increase their revenues, ensure food security and proper nutrition, as well as address hunger in both urban and rural areas throughout the country,”

“We established this to achieve higher agricultural yields among our farmers, increase their revenues, ensure food security and proper nutrition, as well as address hunger in both urban and rural areas throughout the country,” the Malacañang official said.

EPAHP started with three agencies: the DSWD, DA, and DAR. Its success spurred expansion and eventually engaged the active involvement of 29 other government offices and development partners, including the OCS, DepEd, NIA, NAPC, DOST, DOH, NNC, DTI, DILG, BJMP, POPCOM, TESDA, LBP, UN FAO,  WFP, DICT, DOST-FNRI, BFAR, DBM, DBP, NFA, PCA, ATI, CDA, PCC, NDA and PCIC.

The online anniversary celebration was attended by DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista, DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, NIA Administrator (Ret.) Gen. Ricardo Visaya, DAR Usec Emily Padilla, DA Usec Ariel Cayanan, DTI Usec Blesila Lantayona, POPCOM Usec. Juan Perez III, BJMP Chief National Director Allan Iral, DSWD/EPAHP NPMO Director Restituto Macuto, NNC ED Azucena Dayanghirang, DBM Dir. Mary Ann Dela Vega, DOST-FNRI OIC Dir. Dr. Milflor Gonzales, LBP First Vice President Emillie Tamayo, LBP Asst Vice Pres Edgardo Luzano, CDA ED Rey Elevazo, PCC OIC ED Claro Mingla, FAO Ad Interim Representative Ms. Hang Pham, WFP Country Director Matts Persson, NAPC rep Mr. Ronald Mateo and other reps from government offices. 

Aside from its core objectives, EPAHP seeks to assist community-based organizations and local farmers groups through increased capital and market access.

“The coordinated and sustained efforts by EPAHP program partners and stakeholders ensured the long-term viability of the initiative.”

One organization that benefited from the program, the Bulacan Farmers Agriculture Cooperative thanked the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Commission of Urban Poor “for their assistance and patronage of local produce from Bulacan farmers.”

Daisy Duran, the coop’s president, noted that “coop members were given easy access to markets that would have been difficult to penetrate without government’s help.”

The leaders of the KAPATIRAN, INC. SLP Association from Antique and the Tibal-Og United Cook Association from Davao del Norte, meanwhile, expressed gratitude to the DSWD for benefits granted leading to the setting up of community stores that supplied poultry products for supplemental feeding programs of Day Care Centers in their areas.

Nograles stressed that the coordinated and sustained efforts by EPAHP program partners and stakeholders ensured the long-term viability of the initiative.

“The positive testimonies of beneficiaries and the continuing hard work of our agency partners ensure the growth of EPAHP as a core policy tool in combatting hunger and poverty. This gains more importance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are inspired and humbled by the success one year after we launched EPAHP. We will work harder to push all efforts forward, with the goal of eradicating poverty and hunger, no less,” the Cabinet Secretary stressed.

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