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Palace order for intensified anti-hunger efforts timely amid SWS 1st quarter stats on rising involuntary hunger – DSWD spox

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), being chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger (IATF-ZH), on Wednesday (May 1) vowed to continue working with concerned partners and other government agencies in addressing hunger in the country, following the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) report that hunger ratings nationwide have risen in the first quarter of 2024.

“The DSWD will now have the whole bureaucracy as partner in addressing hunger in the country with Malacañang’s issuance on April 19 of Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 47 directing all government agencies and instrumentalities to support the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) Program. The issuance of the MC was very timely, especially with the latest SWS report on increasing hunger ratings in the country,” Asst. Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group Irene Dumlao said.

Asst. Secretary Dumlao, who is also the DSWD spokesperson, said addressing hunger and poverty in the country is not just the task of one government agency or one task force, for but the whole bureaucracy through the whole-of-government approach.

“The MC will fast track the implementation of anti-hunger initiatives and ensure that these efforts will achieve results with the whole government working together and sharing resources,” the DSWD spokesperson said.

The EPAHP is one of the banner programs of the IATF-ZH that aims to attain zero hunger and food and nutrition security.

The SWS survey, conducted from March 21 to 25, indicated that 14.2% Filipino families who had involuntary hunger was higher than the December 2023 figure of 12.6% and the highest since May 2021 when it reached 16.8%.

Aside from the EPAHP, the DSWD will continue its own programs and services that will contribute to the whole-of-government approach against hunger.

One of these programs is the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the flagship program of the national government on poverty reduction and social development implemented by the DSWD.

The 4Ps program provides cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition, and education, particularly for children aged 0-18.

Another program is the Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program (FSP) which will scale up its implementation this July from 3,000 beneficiaries to 300,000 across the country.

The FSP is one of the priority programs of the Marcos administration that aims to fight involuntary hunger by providing food augmentation to the bottom 1 million households based on the Listahanan 3 and who belong to the food-poor criteria as defined by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The DSWD also partners with local government units (LGUs) in implementing the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP), which provides nutritious snacks and hot meals to augment the regular meals of children enrolled in Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP) and child development centers (CDCs).

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