President Rodrigo Duterte launched on Saturday here the Bangsamoro Umpungan sa Nutrition (BANGUN), the administration’s flagship program in combating hunger and malnutrition in ARMM.
“Wala na kayong makikitang leader for a long time na may malaking pagmamalasakit sa inyo,” President Duterte said before an audience of more than seven-hundred representatives from various Bangsamoro sectors.
BANGUN, initiated by the President himself, is a program that will forge solidarity among all stakeholders to assist in eliminating the problem of malnutrition and ensure that children in ARMM grow healthy and strong.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman pledged P214 million in support of the program. This is in addition to the P48-million budget the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Central Office has allocated to the program for the remaining months of 2016.
DSWD-ARMM will partner with the ARMM’s Department of Health targeting children ages 0-12 years old to pilot BANGUN implementation in Mamasapano, Datu Salibo, and Datu Piang in Maguindanao; and in Jolo and Patikul in Sulu.
DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said the program is very personal for the President as his personal observations on the malnutrition figures in ARMM were his driving force to come up with the project. “The President has a built-in radar for detecting peoples needs,” shared Taguiwalo.
It was in the second cabinet meeting, said Taguiwalo, that the President brought up the proposal for DSWD to come up with a comprehensive and sustainable program as answer to issues affecting the growth of the poor children in the region.
ARMM remains the poorest region in the country with poverty incidence among households rising from 46.9% in 2012 to 49.6% in the first semester of 2015.
One out of two families in the region are living below the poverty line threshold with 44.5% food insecurity rate, which means that one out of two families cannot afford to bring basic food on their tables at least three times a day.
DSWD, as the forefront agency in poverty reduction, is working on streamlining its capabilities to efficiently deliver programs that are truly felt on the ground.
Regional Vice Governor and DSWD-ARMM Secretary Haroun Alrashid Lucman said the regional agency’s strategy is to converge all programs to provide holistic support to individual beneficiaries making them the same beneficiaries to various anti-poverty programs.
The regional agency, he said, is also eyeing provision of healthy packed meals with complete nutritional requirements to day care children as augmentation to the existing supplemental feeding program in the hope that this will hasten the eradication of hunger and malnutrition in the region.
Vilma Cabrera, DSWD Undersecretary for Operation of Protective Programs, said the department is confident with the ARMM government’s support in the implementation of its programs especially under the leadership of Gov. Hataman.
“Maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo sa mamamayan lalo na sa mahihirap, patas na pagtrato sa komunidad na hindi nangingilala sa kulay, at tapat na serbisyo na walang bahid ng korupsyon,” Sec. Taguiwalo said are the President’s principles in the implementation of all projects under his administration.
Source: Mindanao Examiner