The government’s coordinating agency against poverty on Tuesday signed a milestone Memorandum of Agreements with 19 local government units in Mindanao as part of a nationwide bid to take down poverty by 14 per cent in 2022.
“It is high time to cut down poverty if we are to lessen its impact on the lives of our people during the pandemic,” said Secretary Noel K. Felongco of the National Anti-Poverty Commission.
Felongco signed the MOAs with the LGUs through a zoom conference hosted by the NAPC’s Mindanao field office under Augustus Tapia.
Mindanao is host to 23 provinces listed among the country’s poorest provinces in terms of poverty incidence among population.
Government security forces tagged poverty in the island as a stimulus to insurgency.
Felongco described as very significant the MOAs entered with the 19 LGUS because “it provides us a deeper commitment and stronger partnership in eradicating poverty.”
The NAPC lead convener said LGUs hold the key to ensuring that poverty-reduction prioritizes land tillers and fisher folk.
“Priority should also focus on geographically-situated and disadvantaged areas (GSDA) so that no one should be left behind,” he said.
He said LGUs are in the best position to reduce poverty simply by channeling their resources to programs aimed at uplifting the lives of people.
Poverty reduction should be everybody’s business, he said.
Under the MOAs, the LGUs will undertake the implementation of NAPC’s Sambayanihan Serbisyong Sambayanan (3S) program that sought to address poverty in 40 priority provinces.
The LGUs are obligated to help tap volunteers to ensure that government services are uplifting the lives of the oppressed and the marginalized.
Republic Act 8425 has mandated NAPC to coordinate with different national and local government agencies to ensure full implementation of social reform and poverty alleviation programs.
Those who signed the MOAs representing their LGUs included Mayor Kerkhar S. Tan of Jolo, Sulu; Mayor Abdulbaki J. Ajibon of Omar, Surlu; Mayor Nurshamier A Halun of Kalingalan Caluang, Sulu; Mayor Al-Frazier Abdurajak of Panamao, Sulu; Mayor Vic Paul Salarda of Alabel, Sarangani; Mayor Floro Sak Gandam of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; Mayor Sulpicio Villalobos of Sto. Nino, South Cotabato; Mayor Alexis Quina of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental; Mayor Agne V. Yap of Baliangao, Misamis Occidental, Mayor Meraluna S. Abrogar of Claveria, Misamis Oriental; Mayor Fruto Dandasan of Dangcagan, Bukidnon; Mayor Jerry Canoy of Kadingilan, Bukidnon; Mayor Jay Albert Puertas of Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental; Mayor Alicia Rama-Ty of Plaridel, Misamis Occidental; Mayor Gomer Sabio of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental; Mayor Jennie Rosalie T. Uy of Villanueva, Misamis Oriental; Mayor Daniel Dormitorio of Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur and Mayor Eddie Quimbo of Labason, Zamboanga del Sur.
Under the MOA, the NAPC will assist the LGUs in helping channel the delivery of services to the poor and the deprived.