The National Anti-Poverty Commission conceded that the Covid-19 pandemic has made things difficult, but it did not prevent the implementation of poverty alleviation programs nationwide.
“In fact, 2020 was a busy year for NAPC in ensuring that government services got to the basic sectors during the pandemic,” said Secretary Noel K. Felongco told reporters in Cebu City during the weekend.
He said that as proof, the NAPC was able to forge a total of 69 memorandum of agreements with local government units in the Visayas.
This was matched by a total of 58 MOAs inked with LGUs in Mindanao.
The MOAs ensured the implementation of the agency’s flagship Sambayanihan Serbisyong Sambayanan anti-poverty program in partnership with the LGUs.
The overall objective is to ensure that poverty incidence is brought down to 14 per cent in 2022.
Felongco said the NAPC was able to accomplish the feat through virtual conferences with the LGUs that responded favorably.
In the Visayas, the MOAs established partnerships with the provinces of Bohol, Siquijor and Southern Leyte as well as with various cities and towns in Negros Occidental, Aklan, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Leyte, Samar, Bilirang and Southern Leyte.
NAPC’s mandates is backed by memorandum circular 59 issued by Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medaldea in March 2019 that directed all government offices, agencies, instrumentalities and government-controlled corporations to support and actively participate in the implementation of the Sambayanihan program.
With the roll-out of vaccines, Felongco said the year 2021 offers hope of healing and economic recovery.
“Hence we are looking at the rollout of household monitoring survey in target priority areas in 400 cities, municipalities and in 4,000 barangays across the country,” said Felongco.
He said the NAPC also sought to organize one million Kasambayanihan volunteers as grassroots stewards for poverty reduction monitoring.
“This to ensure that government services are accessed by the poor sectors that needed them most,” he said.
The NAPC also sought to expand this year convergence platforms for “capacity building activities and social enterprise creation” in partnership with at least 200 LGUs nationwide.