PRE-SONA SERIES. Task Force on Zero Hunger head Karlo Nograles during the Kasama sa Pamana: Regional Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Series on June 15, 2021 in San Fernando City, La Union. The series was attended by local government officials and other stakeholders in the Ilocos Region. (Photo by Hilda Austria)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The inter-agency Task Force on Zero Hunger has assisted Ilocos Region residents through programs under the different national government agencies during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
 
In his report during the Kasama sa Pamana: Regional Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Series, task force head Karlo Nograles said some 80,400 children aged five and below enrolled under the Child Development Center school year 2020-2021 have benefited from the nutrition services of the
Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Education (DepEd).
 
“DepEd distributed 52,280 nutritious food products and 167,563 milk products to elementary students in the region,” he said on Tuesday.
 
The Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program of the task force ensures food and nutrition security and reduces poverty in urban and rural communities. 
 
At least10 agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs), with 129 members or agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), have earned PHP4.2 million in the first four months this year, Nograles said.
 
The ARBOs have been tapped to provide agricultural products to other national government agencies such as the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, DepEd, DOH-run hospitals, and local government units in the region, he said.
 
“Some 2,249 ARBs have also benefited through the farm productivity assistance while some 4,572 ARBs received supplemental foods and non-food items,” he added.
 
Through the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, Nograles said some 32,206 farmers and fisherfolk have claimed indemnity insurance amounting to PHP207.9 million last year.
 
The DSWD, he said, distributed 95,937 family food packs to families affected by Covid-19, typhoons, and other incidents in the region as of May 27 this year.
 
Nograles said some 40,040 households in the region have also enjoyed discounted and accessible products through the Diskwento Caravan of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
 
“DTI conducted 137 caravans in about 810 barangays in the entire region in 2020 with total sales of PHP34.9 million,” he said.
 
Nograles, together with other national government officials, met with local government unit leaders and other stakeholders in the region for the sixth leg of the pre-SONA series here on Tuesday.
 
Meanwhile, Jovelyn Laroya Carrera, treasurer of Inabaan Norte Agricultural Multi-Purpose Cooperative in La Union province, commended the EPAHP project.
 
Nakatulong ng malaki sa amin kasi nabenta namin mga goods namin sa hospital. Kahit nabawasan ang kita namin dahil sa pandemic ay nakabawi din dahil sa proyektong ito. Sila ang in charge sa marketing at kami naman sa paglikom ng mga gulay at ibang pananim (It has helped us a lot as we sold our goods to a hospital. Although our income was reduced due to the pandemic, we recovered because of this project. They are in charge of the marketing while we collect vegetables and other crops),” she said in a separate interview. (PNA)