(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 27 October, 2020) At 3:00 AM today, the eye of Typhoon QUINTA {MOLAVE} was located based on all available data at 580 km West of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro (13.4°N, 115.8°E) with maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h near the center and gustiness up to 170 km/h. It is moving West at 25 km/h. Caraga Region will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Localized Thunderstorm. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from Southwest to Southeast will prevail and the coastal waters will be Slight to Moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.1 meters.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Nograles: We go full-blast with feeding and farmer assistance programs despite Covid-19

"We should be creative and think of ways to continue implementing our various feeding programs during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially those targeted at schools and schoolchildren. We're working the mechanics out with the DepEd and DSWD so that the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program achieves its goal of combatting hunger.”

This according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Chair of the Task Force Zero Hunger, when he pointed to the EPAHP as a key modality where Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs), Irrigators Associations (IAs) and Farmers Associations can play key roles in the government's supplementary feeding and school feeding initiatives.

The MalacaƱang official spoke during the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Marketing Agreements Signing yesterday, July 21, 2020, attended virtually by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones, Undersecretary Emily Padilla and its officials and staff from the Central Office as well as Region 9, Deputy Director for Welfare and Development of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Jail Senior Superintendent Felly A. Cebuma and partners from the region, representatives from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and representatives from other agencies and ARBOs from Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, and Zamboanga del Sur.

Nograles, who also serves as NIA Chair, encouraged the IAs and ARBOs to heighten their involvement in these government programs, emphasizing that "you can be crucial partners because of the important role you play. Through EPAHP, you will have easy access to a market because government will buy your produce. Market and network access is vital during this Covid-19 pandemic. This will create jobs, and establish link-ups, freeing you to focus on production."

In a brief message, Jail Senior Supt. Felly Cebuma noted that "no virus can stop us in pushing through with programs that uplift the lives of our people."

"We fully support the EPAHP program because it provides nutrition and needed dietary requirements at affordable prices and helps our farmers at the same time. Let's hope this programs gets replicated in other areas of the country," added the BJMP official.

For their part, the ARBOs and IAs expressed gratitude at the other partner organizations from government for easing the way to smoother business transactions and removing the "middle man" who eats up profits and hinders the selling of farm produce.

"We will now have greater access to consumers. We can directly sell our products to those who need them," said Ronald Diaz, head of the Magsaysay Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative from Zamboanga del Sur.

CabSec Nograles, a former representative of Davao, meanwhile, reiterated the need for more active involvement from LGUs and local chief executives.

"The National Government hopes that our local officials fully support and get involved in these initiatives. If you have your own community feeding and nutrition programs, let's align them with the EPAHP for a more comprehensive approach to combatting hunger. Unity and cooperation are important in providing life-saving assistance to those who most need it, especially during this ongoing health crisis. Together, we all need to say goodbye gutom and finally achieve zero hunger."###