Duterte gov’t seeks zero-hunger before term ends

EFFORTS to attain the Duterte administration’s ambitious zero-hunger target in the country has gathered steam as the technical working group of the Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP) is close to finalizing the framework for the government’s food security and poverty alleviation program.

Chaired by Restituto B. Macuto, Director of the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the group scrutinized every provision of the draft framework to ensure that it would be in conformity with the respective mandates of the partner agencies. The meeting was held at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) boardroom Friday.

Besides the DSWD and the DAR, other major government agencies that are involved in this program are the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Education, Health, and the Interior and Local Government (DILG), among others.

DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Emily Padilla said the agency is working on the subdivision of collective certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) to enable each farmer-beneficiary to direct his or her own course.

So far, the DAR has distributed close to 5 million hectares of agricultural land, 1.2 million hectares of these are bundled into a number of collective CLOAs, with the leaderships of farmers’ organizations taking charge on behalf of their members.

Padilla said the parceling of collective CLOAs is the DAR’s expression of support to the partnership in pursuit of the government’s food security and poverty alleviation program as it helps “empower every farmer-beneficiary and spur rural development in the countryside,” Padilla said during the meeting.

Assistant Secretary Jose Solidum of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary in Malacanang said the meeting seeks to enhance the framework in conformity with the respective mandates of all partner agencies to ensure that all hands on deck for this noble cause.

Solidum said the collaborative efforts are geared towards increasing farm productivity, ensure food security and mitigate malnutrition.

“Our efforts build on the success of the Brazilian government in providing agricultural extension services that are linked to the nutritional needs of the national feeding program,” Solidum explained.