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From three to 30: more agencies joins EPAHP for Mimaropa

QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- The Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP) was piloted in 2016 with three agencies aimed at empowering farmers and neighborhood businesses in areas with high poverty incidence to find markets for their harvest and products including government small value procurements.

What used to be limited to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), the partnership, now called the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP), has gained 30 supporting agencies in Mimaropa.

“This is a testament to the solid hard work of our partners in the region,” said Cabinet Secretary and EPAPH National Steering Committee Chairperson Karlo Alexei B. Nograles during the 5th signing of the memorandum of the understanding (MOU) and media launching of EPAHP among Mimaropa partners held in Manila on November 25.

Sec. Nograles expressed gratitude to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Mimaropa for taking the lead in sustaining EPAHP throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first MOU signing for Mimaropa took placed on January 31,2020; the second in November 10, 2020; the third in March 22, 2021; and the fourth in June 9, 2021.

The core objectives of EPAHP, Sec. Nograles said, are to increase farm productivity, raise incomes of farmers and fisherfolks and to ensure food and nutrition security to mitigate hunger in urban and rural communities.

Other groups in the vulnerable sectors will likewise gain from EPAHP such as cooperatives, irrigators associations and beneficiaries of Agrarian Reform, Sustainable Livelihood Program and other related projects.

In effect, food and other agricultural products will be affordable to beneficiaries because EPAHP essentially removes the middlemen in the trading process.

While EPAHP will allow these beneficiaries earn from providing supplies into government feeding programs, children and mothers benefiting from “Tutok Kainan” project of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) and supplementary feeding programs of DSWD and the Department of Education are assured of fresh and nutritious meals.

NNC and DAR launched and implemented Tutok Kainan in selected communities in Occidental Mindoro and Marinduque.

Other beneficiaries included persons deprived of liberty (PDLs): DAR Mimaropa provided seedlings and training to selected PDLs and personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for the vegetable gardening project at the New Bilibid Prison.

Patients from retained hospital by the Department of Health and medical missions will likewise receive fresh and nutritious food supplied by EPAHP community-based organizations (CBOs).

Nograles likewise thanked the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for making their lending program available to CBOs since 2020 to support the costs of production, marketing and related activities.

The Cabinet Secretary ended his message by reporting the efforts to institutionalize EPAHP so it will exist beyond the term of current administration.

Early in the launching, DSWD Mimaropa Regional Director Fernando R. De Villa and DILG Regional Director Wilhelm M. Suyko led the MOU Signing.

Also physically present during the ceremony were EPAHP focal persons in various agencies: Ms. Cecile A. Magat (DAR), Ms. Marieta S. Alvis (DA) EPAHP Focal Person, Mr. Francis Erik P. Bacena, NNC EPAHP Focal Person, DSWD MIMAROPA Assistant Regional Director for Operations Purificacion R. Arriola and Promotive Services Division Chief Shiela S. Tapia.

Other attendees joined via Zoom which included Regional Directors, EPAHP Focal Persons and Alternate Focal Persons, and/or representatives from various government agencies namely, DAR, DA, DA-National Food Authority (DA-NFA), DILG-BJMP, DepEd, DOH-CHD-Mimaropa, NNC, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM), DA-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI), Department of Information and Communications (DICT), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), and LBP. (LP)


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