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Monday, May 24, 2021

DAR, Nutrition Council pool efforts to fight hunger – Nograles

Cabinet Secretary and Task Force Zero Hunger head Karlo Nograles announced recently that the Task Force, together with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Region 3 office and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) - NCR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program to address the nutritional needs of pregnant women and small children.

The signing was held last Thursday, May 20, at Clark Marriot, Mabalacat, Pampanga and included the DAR, NNC-NCR and Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs) to ensure supplies for the Tutok Kainan: Dietary Supplementation Program (DSP) of the National Nutrition Council.

"We need more of this kind of collaboration among agencies and stakeholders, especially since the NNC's Tutok Kainan is among the banner programs of Task Force Zero Hunger. Our aim is to provide for nutritionally-at-risk pregnant women for 90 days, and for 6 to 23-month old children for 18 days to address their dietary needs,” the Malacañang official explained.

Nograles likewise stated that there was an urgent need to strengthen farmers' incomes, stressing "the 240 ARBOs that are part of the EPAHP program earned PhP 148,863,818.80 for the produce they sold up to December 2020."

The Office of the Cabinet Secretariat was joined during the virtual MOU signing by DAR Secretary John Castriciones, Usec. Emily Padilla, Usec. Virginia Orogo, Asec. Milagros Isabel Cristobal, DAR Region 3 Regional Director Atty. Maria Celestina Tam, NNC Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang, NNC NCR Coordinator Milagros Elisa Federizo, the president of the Santo Tomas San Luis Farmers Association, representatives from other partner agencies and ARBO members.

EPAHP was launched to respond to urgent needs relating to food and poverty. Partner agencies include the DILG, DepEd, DOH, DOST, DTI, NAPC, NIA, TESDA, PopCom, LANDBANK, Philippine Coconut Authority, National Dairy Authority, Philippine Carabao Center, DBP, DICT, CDA, BFAR, DBM, PCIC and the NFA. Technical support has been provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP).

NNC Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang expressed gratitude to the Task Force and to DAR for pushing the program, acknowleding the widespread benefits to intended beneficiaries particularly during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Nograles for his part acknowledged that it was an honor for him to lead the Task Force and be at the forefront in the fight against hunger and poverty.

"This is among my personal advocacies, one I have been actively pushing even before joining the executive department, when I was still in Congress as Davao representative."###