By Zaldy De Layola, September 14, 2023; Philippine News Agency
MANILA – The local government units (LGUs) with the best anti-hunger initiatives and practices on food security will receive PHP2 million each through the “Walang Gutom Awards”.
This after Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian and the Galing Pook Foundation (GPF) chairperson Mel Sarmiento and Executive Director Georgina Ann Hernandez-Yang signed a memorandum of agreement at the DSWD Central Office in Batasan Hills, Quezon City on Thursday.
“Today is a very significant day because it is an acknowledgment that the department cannot do it on its own. We are celebrating that because I always say nobody has a monopoly on the right answers and ending hunger surely cannot be done by one department. We need to create a movement among every single Filipino to once and for all say we are ending hunger right here, right now,” Gatchalian said in a news release on Thursday.
“If the department pretended that we can do it on its own, then I don’t think 2027 will be enough as a cut-off date,” he added.
Through the Walang Gutom Awards, the DSWD and the GPF aim to recognize and showcase the achievements of LGUs and amplify their success stories in ending involuntary hunger and malnutrition among Filipinos, especially children.
“That is why early on we told ourselves that we have to enlist every single Filipino out there to join this battle and to join this crusade. It is a movement. We want to end hunger right here, right now,” Gatchalian said.
“We want to end human suffering right here, right now and no child should go to school hungry right here, right now. That is why we enlisted the most reliable brand there is, when it comes to bottom-up policy-making or bottom-up project creation, which is Galing Pook,” he added.
To qualify for the awards, the program must be implemented in the LGU, either in the barangay, municipality, city, or province; must be operationalized for at least one year; and must demonstrate verifiable and significant results in addressing food security and nutrition.
The DSWD and GPF will award 10 LGUs nationwide with each winning LGU receiving PHP2 million that they can use to extend the program and their beneficiaries.
“We know very well that there are success stories in fighting hunger nationwide. It is probably occurring right now but except that it is probably in one of those remote towns out there and the stories are not amplified. That it can be done on a micro level,” Gatchalian said. “So this award today, this launching of the Galing Pook-DSWD Walang Gutom Awards is a testament that we want to amplify the success stories in the local government units out there.”