Batangas City – In line with the government’s initiative in addressing key challenges on social and economic growth, the National Irrigation Administration IV-A signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) together with other agencies in Batangas province on August 26 at the Batangas Country Club, Batangas City.
The convergence program aims to have a holistic approach in mitigating hunger, ensuring food security and health and reducing poverty in the rural communities. The program was led by the NIA Institutional Development Division Manager Dr. Leo L. Gallego with NIA Region IV-A Regional Manager Engr. Wilson M. Lopez
Said activity is part of the national government pursuit of its commitment to the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and attaining “Ambisyon Natin 2040” which are consistent with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022’s goals of inclusive growth and poverty reduction.
NIA CBIMO Division Manager Engr. Jaime C. de Jesus briefly discussed the importance of EPAHP among the participants and visitors of the said convergence program.
“Yung programa nitong EPAHP ay malaki ang maitutulong para masiguro yung ating pagkain, mabawasan ang kahirapan, at ma-alalayan ang ating magsasaka”, he said.
In his speech, the Regional Manager highlighted the obligations of NIA with regards to the EPAHP program. He stated that NIA shall assist participating Irrigators Associations (IAs) in its production and timely delivery of food items required by the institutional feeding programs of the government.
As stipulated in the MOU, NIA will provide capacity building and organizational strengthening assistance to IAs to enhance participation in the EPAHP.
“Isa itong paraan na magbubukas ng maraming oportunidad sa ating magsasaka para direkta sila maka-access sa merkado at maka-avail ng iba't ibang pondo para mas mapalago pa nila ang kanilang organisasyon”, said RM Lopez.
NIA Institutional Development Division Manager Dr. Leo Gallego shared the concept, composition, and requirements of EPAHP. He said that the EPAHP program is part of the government's mechanism to support and empower our agricultural heroes - the Farmers.
"Suportado ng ating NIA Administrator Benny Antiporda ang programang ito dahil ito yung gusto niyang direksyon na bumaba talaga ang NIA para mas masuportahan ang ating magsasaka at mapalago ang agrikultura", he added.
Batangas Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Rodrigo Bautista extended the support of the Provincial Government of Batangas in the effort to establish collaborative work among various government agencies in support of the agriculture sector.
Highlight of the program is the signing of Memorandum of Understanding to which the responsibilities of various agencies are stated. Also present during the interagency activity were representatives from DAR, DA, DepEd, DOH, DOST, DTI, TESDA and Landbank.