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PIA Press Release

DSWD intensifies anti-hunger mitigation programs

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (6 February) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development will intensify its anti-hunger mitigation programs for this year to address the rising hunger incidence attributed to the typhoons that devastated the country late last year.

DSWD-CAR Information Officer Hiyasmin Zambrano, in a radio interview said acting Secretary Celia Capadocia-Yangco has stressed that the DSWD seeks to address hunger not only on the aspect of supply or the unavailability or insufficiency of food to eat, and on the aspect of demand or the inability to buy food but also on the values of the Filipinos about food and good nutrition.

The DSWD according to Yangco also provides livelihood programs to strengthen the people's capacity to produce food and on the part of the consuming public, strengthen their capacity to buy food or have access to sources of food.

Zambrano said the anti-hunger mitigation programs of the DSWD are the Food for School and Healthy Start Feeding Program and the Tindahan Natin project.

DSWD also created an NGO network to support feeding programs, done in close partnership with Kabisig ng Kalahi, a non government organization which provides supplemental feeding to poor children.

To ensure that DSWD's anti-hunger mitigation and other social services programs will go to the proper beneficiaries, Zambrano stressed that one of the banner program of the department for 2010 is the National Housing Targetting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

The NHTS-PR is a program initiated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo aims to create a system of identifying who and where the poor households are. It aims to generate a database of poor households, unify criteria for selection of the poorest population and reduces exclusion of poor and inclusion of non-poor in social protection programs.

"The database that will be generated will not only be for government use it will also be made public to non-government, civic or people's organizations, local or international, who are also engaged in social works," Zambrano said.

The DSWD already finished the first phase of the program in CAR which involved the poor municipalities in Apayao, Abra, Kalinga and Mt. Province. For the second phase, which is up for implementation, it will involve some municipalities in Benguet and Ifugao.

In related development, the 4Ps or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program will also be extended to poor families in Kapangan, Kabayan and Bakun in Benguet and Tinoc and Asipulo in Ifugao.

In 2009, more than 13,000 family beneficiaries in Cordillera have benefitted from the program, which provides conditional cash assistance to poor families (up to a maximum of P1,400 per month), to help them in terms of their children's education, and the family's health and nutrition.

The 4Ps program has benefited about 700,000 poor families nationwide in 2009. The President, in her intention to alleviate the life of the poor families in the country, ordered the program to be extended to a million beneficiaries. (PIA) [top]

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