(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 22 October 2021) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 525 km East of Guiuan, Eastern Samar (11.5°N, 130.5°E) embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Palawan, Visayas, and Mindanao. Caraga Region will have Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to ITCZ / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming Northeast to Northwest will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.5 meters).



Thursday, September 30, 2021

Hunger czar encourages public-private partnership to achieve zero hunger 

BUTUAN CITY -- “The hunger situation, not only in Caraga Region, has been directly impacted by the pandemic. This is why the public and private partnership for addressing hunger must be expanded and sustained.” 

These were the words of hunger czar and cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles during his keynote speech for the regional launch of the Duterte Legacy Campaign - Barangayanihan Caravan held Thursday, September 30, in Cabadbaran City. 

Much like in many of their initiatives, the government sees the importance of employing a whole-of-nation approach in combating hunger incidents in the country and ultimately, achieving zero hunger. 

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger (IATF-ZH), created by virtue of Executive Order No. 101 (series of 2020), is mandated to coordinate and rationalize the efforts of concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to ensure a whole-of-government approach to attaining zero hunger. 

The task force chair proudly announced the latest initiative under its partnership with the private sector which is the launching of the Scale-Up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network (SBN) in the region which also coincided with the caravan. 

According to the National Nutrition Council (NNC), the SBN will serve as the platform for business and nutrition cooperation, with the aim to reduce all forms of malnutrition among the nutritionally vulnerable as provided in the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition, 2017-2022.

“This indeed is a major response of the private sector and  civil society organizations to our call for a whole-of-society approach in addressing hunger not only in Caraga but in the country,” he said. 

With the government’s gains in addressing hunger and food security, CabSec. Nograles emphasized the importance of enjoining the private sector especially in putting an end to a problem that has placed public health and millions of Filipino children at risk. 

“There are many the private sector is willing to help but we in government must spell out where and how. The expertise they have as well as the resources can be better harnessed with the government as partners,” he said. 

Crushing hunger amid a pandemic 

In Caraga Region, various agencies involved in addressing hunger and food security have achieved significant accomplishments in line with the National Food Policy (NFP), which outlines the government’s priorities based on a comprehensive understanding of the problem of hunger and related issues, and provides a roadmap for achieving zero hunger. 

CabSec. Nograles reported that in 2020, 24 farmers' organizations under the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) have participated in the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) Program in Caraga and reported the highest in sales among regions in the country, gaining a staggering PhP 81,487,872.51. 

“These farmers' organizations are now catering to different institutional buyers such as the LGUs, jails, DSWD Supplementary Feeding Programs, hospitals in both public and private hospitals, among others,” the hunger czar said. 

The cabinet secretary also disclosed that the region holds one of the largest production areas of Adlai in the country, a crop explored as an alternative to white rice that is easy to produce, easy to plant, sturdy, and very resistant to pests. 

In terms of ensuring food accessibility, the hunger czar reported DTI-Caraga has already established 169 Shared Service Facilities projects, 71 of which were already fully turned over to cooperators. 

The Shared Service Facilities Program aimed to improve micro, small, and medium enterprises’ (MSMEs') competitiveness by providing machinery, equipment, tools, systems, accessories, and other auxiliary items, skills, and knowledge under a shared system. 

Advocacy-related activities and provision of training and capacity building for local government units are also continuously implemented through the nutrition offices even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The members of the IATF-ZH also released program guidelines to implement key nutrition programs during this pandemic, specifically the DSWD Supplementary Feeding Program and DepEd School-Based Feeding Program.

Meanwhile, to ensure sustainable food systems, resiliency, and food stability for emergencies, DSWD-Caraga has consistently been part of the augmentation and prepositioning of goods support to the local government units through its General Food Distribution and Distribution during Calamities programs. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)