The National Anti-Poverty Commission has predicted a steady increase of middle class-dominated cities in Mindanao as more and more local government units have embraced the need for convergent efforts in addressing poverty.
But NAPC’s Secretary Noel K. Felongco on Monday said this maybe fast-tracked with the forging of memorandum of agreements between the agency and LGUs for the implementation of the agency’s Sambayanihang Serbisyong Sambayanan (SSS) program.
The SSS five-year development program sought to ensure the convergence of the government’s anti-poverty programs in partnership with LGUs.
On November 6, 2020, the local government unit of Iligan City signed a MOA with NAPC in a virtual meeting. The MOA will ensure that government services towards informal settlers are accessed and strengthened through the fielding of Kasambayanihan volunteers.
“With NAPC at our back, we will not go astray in our resolve to help stamp out poverty,” announced City Mayor Celso G. Regencia who signed the MOA in behalf of Iligan City.
On the same day, Regencia led city officials in distributing 26 heads of carabaos to farmer-beneficiaries.
Felongco signed in behalf of NAPC, the government’s coordinating agency in the war against poverty.
Augustus Tapia, NAPC head of operations in Mindanao said the MOA is the third in the island. The NAPC is working at inking five MOAs for each of the five regions in Mindanao by the end of the year.
The MOA with Iligan City provides guidelines in the implementation of the SSS program with an eye to ensuring that informal settlers have access to dwelling, livelihood and employment opportunities.
Felongco said that as more and more LGUs in Mindanao link up with NAPC in the implementation of the SSS, convergence efforts towards the eradication of poverty will be sustained.
Government statistics reveal that eight of the 10 provinces in the Philippines where poverty incidence is high are in Mindanao.
Lanao del Norte where Iligan City is located has a poverty incidence of 19.0 per cent as of 2018 compared to 37.7 per cent in 2015.The Armed Forces of the Philippines conceded that poverty is an stimulus to insurgency. (9/11/2020)