Fourteen regional line agencies in the CALABARZON Region committed towards a strengthened partnership towards hunger mitigation and food security. In a ceremony last June 8 in Calamba City, Laguna, the agencies, through their respective regional directors and heads of offices, signed the Regional Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) Program.

The agencies that are part of the partnership are the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, Commission on Population, Department of Education, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Information and Communications Technology, and National Irrigation Administration. Also included are the DA’s National Dairy Authority, Philippine Carabao Center and Agricultural Training Institute and the DILG’s Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the regional agencies assures the convergence of programs and services of the agencies in the provision of support to farmers, fisher folks and small-scale food traders. Programs and services include skills training, credit assistance, farm production technology and linkage to prospective markets.

“Through this Memorandum of Understanding, we are ensuring sustainability of the partnership through overall coordination and implementation of the EPAHP Program in the region,” shared Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, the regional director of the DSWD Field Office IV-A and the chair of the EPAHP regional convergence team.

Dir. Castillo also assured and encouraged the partners of a continuous and strengthened partnership towards supporting the agricultural sector.

The EPAHP Program is a collaborative effort of partner agencies in engaging rural communities towards enhancing social capital and optimizing economic resource base through supplementary feeding and other feeding programs, food production programs and essential support services.

The DSWD serves as the lead agency in the implementation of the said program.# [with reports from MAMLamug]