Gov’t to address hunger through inter-agency collaboration

The government will carry out concerted efforts to address hunger in the country through its frontline agencies, as more families claim they experience involuntary hunger based on the first quarter Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

“It’s being addressed by the proper departments,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Monday when asked about the SWS survey result.

For instance, he said Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has launched a program to combat hunger and malnutrition which he said is a symbolic measure of the government’s effort. “I cannot give you now the specific details as to the exact programs that are addressing it. But definitely, the Agriculture [department] is addressing that and so is DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), the clusters are addressing that,” Abella said.

Pinol had earlier vowed to make milk feeding in public schools a nationwide program to eliminate malnutrition among children. This will also give dairy producers a market for their produce which has been a lingering problem for the industry.

Meanwhile, Abella said the conditional cash transfer program, which was a major anti-poverty program of the previous government, is also being reviewed.

Some 3.1 million Filipino families claimed to have experienced “involuntary hunger” in the first three months of 2016, with a significant rise noted in Mindanao, according to the SWS survey released on Monday. Results showed that some 2.6 million Filipinos experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the last three months of 2015. The survey was conducted from March 30 to April 2. PND (as)