Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles urges local chief executives to prioritize #GoodbyeGutom nutrition programs, stressing that this is necessary to address hunger and malnutrition around the country.

Speaking at the 2019 National Nutrition Awarding Ceremony organized by the National Nutriton Council (NNC), Nograles said he encourages everyone, “particularly the local government units and development partners, to continuously support and to give importance to programs and projects that intend to improve the nutritional status of our countrymen, especially our children.”

“Healthier children later on become productive citizens.”

“As the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of your LGUs increase, I urge you to prioritize nutrition-related programs as nutrition is a strategic investment that kicks off a positive cycle that benefits us all,” added the Palace official.

“Healthier children later on become productive citizens, and productive citizens contribute to the development and prosperity of our communities.” 

Nograles, who delivered the keynote speech at the event, also awarded the National Honor Award to former Taguig Mayor and now Taguig 1st District Rep. Laarni Cayetano. 

Other officials present during the activity were Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Francisco Duque, Sen. Christoper “Bong” Go. Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, and NNC Officer in Charge-Executive Director Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang.

The former representative from Davao credited local government units (LGUs) for being the national government’s “indispensable partners in our battle to eradicate hunger.” 

“You who comprise the front line of government, you are the tip of the spear––the men and women who work in the trenches to confront and combat the most concrete manifestations of poverty in our country: hunger and malnutrition,” explained the lawyer.

Nograles said that while recent data from the 2018 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute showed improvements in numbers correlating to undernutrition compared to those in 2015, government recognizes that it has to step up efforts to improve the plight of the 2.4 million families that experienced moderate to extreme hunger in 2018, of the 13.7 million Filipino children that are undernourished, and of the 20% of Filipino underweight children until 5 years old.

“Millions of Filipino children are already benefiting from government feeding programs that have been rolled out.”

According to Nograles, “while government efforts are being consolidated to battle hunger and malnutrition, millions of Filipino children are already benefiting from government feeding programs that have been rolled out.”

Nograles reported that from 2018 to 2019, 3.6 million children were beneficiaries of government feeding programs, as well as 2.1 million undernourished students during the past schoolyear. In addition to this, 4.29 million children also benefited from cash subsidies for food from the government’s 4Ps program.” 

The former legislator said that while there are millions who benefit from government feeding programs, there are still many more government must reach. 

“It is in light of this that my office has been working on the expansion of the Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP). Essentially the aim of this program is to link Community-Based Organizations, including the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs), with the government feeding programs and projects of government departments,” he explained.

“This initiative was pursued to ensure that we are able to help our farmers while at the same time provide nutritious food to the Filipino people through the government feeding programs.” 

EPAHP, said Nograles, adopts the same whole-of-government approach that has proven effective in other government initiatives and applies it in efforts to to address hunger. Once this program is finalized, he said, locally-sourced produce will be used in the different schools, hospitals, and jails.

These will ensure fresh and healthy food for those targeted by government feeding programs

Nograles stressed that the road to eradicating hunger “will not be smooth, it will be long, and along the way, we will encounter many challenges.” 

“The consequences of climate change and a growing population will inevitably make our journey more difficult, but I believe that as long as LGUs fulfill their roles as our partners in this formidable task, we will be able to decisively address malnutrition and hunger,” Nograles said.

“As you have proven in your own areas of responsibility, with competent leadership, a clear program of action, and the wherewithal to improve the lives of the communities you serve, we can go far in our efforts to address hunger and malnutrition, and to ensure that the nutritional needs of our kababayan are adequately and sustainably provided.” 


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