Two more Davao areas under hunger program

Dec. 14, 2007

Two more provinces in Davao Region have been covered in the Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program (AMHP).

National Nutrition Council Regional Coordinator Teresa Ungson in an interview said Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte provinces are now included among the provinces where hunger is a concern.

Only Davao Oriental was covered earlier in the Hunger Mitigation Program.

Ungson, however, said non of the Davao Region provinces included in the program, fall under priority I, which covers the very very vulnerable areas where hunger is indeed a problem.

Davao Oriental belongs to Priority II which Ungson described as very vulnerable. Kailangang bantayan for it might drift into a serious malnutrition problem, she explained.

Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur are covered under Priority III in which areas need to take measures to prevent malnutrition problem to set in.

Compostela Valley Province which does not fall under any priority areas, has no traces of hunger indicators which include very low level of household income, high prevalence rate of malnutrition, high poverty prevalence rate among others, Ungson explained.

Compostela Valley Province and the municipality of Nabunturan also of the same province, this year got the 1st year Maintenance as Consistent Regional Outstanding Winners in Nutrition (CROWN) together with the provinces of Cagayan, Marinduque, and Zamboang Sibugay; the cities of Talisay, Maasin and Mandaue; and the municipalities of Supiden, La Union; Boac, Marinduque; and Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay;

Guesting in Kapihan sa Comval, Provincial Governor Arturo Uy claimed he had understood such policy of the national government to exclude much better areas from the hunger mitigation program.

Nakasabot ta ana kay kini alang sa mga lugar nga ubos ang kahimtang, he said of the AMHP.

During the Anti-Hunger Task Force Meeting held early this quarter, President Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release additional P1 billion in a resolute effort to boost governments anti-poverty program.

She said the additional appropriation would be distributed to government agencies directly involved in implementing the governments hunger mitigation program.

Ungson bared funding shares of the hunger mitigation program, saying a big chunck would go to the departments of agriculture, education and health including the NNC.

From what she knew, the funds would be used among others in implementing the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), Pabasa sa Nutrisyon project and breastfeeding promotion and campaign.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recently cited President Arroyos leadership, commitment and level of political will as keys in breaking a success in the countrys initiative to mitigate hunger and reduce poverty.

Recognized for such effort, President Arroyo has directed the DA to step up efforts to bolster success of the hunger mitigation program.

FAO officials led by Barbara Ekwall expressed the organizations appreciation and full support for the Philippines Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program during the 34th session of FAO Conference held recently in Rome. (PIA Dispatch/JDAbangan)

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