Fewer hungry folks this time, says PGMA
Manila (22 September) -- Hunger incidence in the country dropped considerably in the second quarter to 14.7 percent from the 19 percent recorded in the first quarter of this year.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced the good news during the barangay interaction and school feeding she attended yesterday afternoon at the Project 6 Elementary School in Barangay Project 6, Quezon City.
The President said the government's hunger mitigation measures such as the provision of Tindahan Natin outlets, Barangay Food Terminals (BFTs) and the Food-for-School Program (FSP) greatly contributed to the decrease in hunger incidence rate.
"Sa pamamagitan nito bumaba ang hunger incidence rate sa 14.7 percent ngayong second quarter mula sa dating 19 percent noong first quarter," she said.
Supporting the government's hunger and poverty mitigation measures, the President said, is the strong peso that has absorbed the impact of the current high prices of oil in the world market.
The President said the government has allocated P2.75 billion for the school feeding program this year. The amount would be increased to almost P3.3 billion in 2008.
At the same time, the President said the government has allocated P181 million for the hunger mitigation measures that resulted in the establishment of 6,583 Tindahan Natin outlets in the most depressed areas in 52 provinces nationwide.
She said 200 more Tindahan Natin outlets would be established in Metro Manila before the year ends.
Among those who welcomed the President were school and local officials led by Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, First District Representative Vincent Crisologo, and the chairpersons of Barangays Project 6, Bagong Pag-asa, Nayong Kanluran, VASRA, Phil-Am, and West Triangle.
Accompanying the President were Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando.
Yap told the President that 20 BFTs are now operational in Quezon City, Manila, Taguig, Pasay, Caloocan, Navotas and Bulacan that provide direct link lo w-priced farm products such as meat and vegetables to small wet markets in urban areas.
Yap said more than two million individuals or some 400,000 families in Metro Manila and the poorest provinces would directly benefit from the BFTs the total number of which would be increased to 60 this year.
Yap also assured that there is enough supply of low-priced rice from the National Food Authority (NFA).
During the barangay visit, the President led the distribution of certificates to operate five Tindahan Natin outlets, 125 scholarship vouchers from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), PhilHealth cards, and certificates to operate BFTs in Barangays Project 6 and Bagong Pag-asa.
The President also witnessed the school feeding program and led the distribution of one kilo of iron-fortified rice each for Grades 1 to 6 pupils.
The school feeding program is a component of the Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program of the government to address malnutrition and at the same time assure families of rice on their table as long as the children go to school.
The Food for School Program is an interagency activity of the NFA, National Nutrition Council (NNC), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Department of Education as the implementing agency. (OPS/PIA) [top]