Poverty alleviation efforts continue amid Covid-19: NAPC

By Carlo Lorenciana

March 4, 2021, 7:55 pm

CEBU CITY – The implementation of poverty alleviation programs has continued nationwide despite the challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Noel Felongco said Thursday.
“In fact, 2020 was a busy year for NAPC in ensuring that government services got to the basic sectors during the pandemic,” Felongco said in a statement.
As proof, he said, the NAPC forged a total of 69 memoranda of agreement (MOAs) with local government units (LGUs) 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 LGUs.
The overall objective is to ensure that poverty incidence is brought down to 14 percent in 2022.
Felongco said the NAPC accomplished the feat through virtual conferences with 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, Biliran, and Southern Leyte.
The NAPC’s mandate is backed by Memorandum Circular 59 issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in March 2019 that directed all government offices, agencies, instrumentalities, and government-owned and -controlled corporations to support and actively participate in the implementation of the Sambayanihan program.
With the rollout of the anti-Covid-19 vaccines, Felongco said 2021 offers hope of healing and economic recovery.
“Hence, we are looking at the rollout of (the) household monitoring survey in target priority areas in 400 cities, municipalities, and in 4,000 barangays across the country,” he said.
Felongco noted that the NAPC also sought to organize one million Kasambayanihan volunteers as grassroots stewards for poverty reduction monitoring.
“This is 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 the convergence platforms for capacity-building activities and social enterprise creation, in partnership with at least 200 LGUs nationwide. (PNA)