Tuesday | Apr. 11, 2017 | 11:30 AM
The PAGCOR Board led by Chairman and CEO Andrea D. Domingo (3rd from right) and National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Liza Masa (4th from left) sign the memorandum of agreement on the grant of P50-million financial assistance to NAPC. The funding will be used for the agency’s pro-poor programs nationwide.
The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) received P50-million funding from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), a big boost to the implementation of the government’s livelihood, education and anti-poverty monitoring projects.
With the huge funding, NAPC will be able to improve their existing socio-civic programs including the “provision and improvement of free and quality education in Mindanao; sustaining livelihoods in Luzon and Mindanao through warehouse, milling and marketing facilities; strengthening the Integrated Coconut Livelihood Enterprise Development in the Visayan region and the Talambayan Open Data Solution for Poverty Monitoring.”
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo who was present during the turn-over of the financial aid to NAPC on April 5, 2017 mentioned that President Rodrigo Duterte instructed the state-run gaming agency to release the said amount for NAPC’s socio-civic campaigns and projects. “Masaya tayo na maka-tulong sa nangangailangan. Basta pagdating sa mahihirap nating kababayan, mabilis tayo. And we know that the funding we gave is in good hands,” she said.
NAPC Secretary Liza Maza who received the financial aid said that the poverty incidence in the Philippines is at 21 to 22%. “That’s around 21 to 22 million people while our hunger rate is 8 to 11 million. It’s a huge number. At ito ang gustong tutukan ng ating gobyerno sa ilalim ni Presidente Duterte,” she said.
Maza added that the present administration targets to improve the lives of at least 9 million Filipinos below the poverty line. “That’s the minimum target and it is already a very challenging goal. I hope that we’ll get there. NAPC will do its best in directing the government’s anti-poverty programs to areas with acute poverty rate,” she explained.
Based on the 2016 report of Philippine Statistics Authority, the ten areas with the highest poverty incidence per family are Lanao del Sur, Eastern Samar, Apayao, Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Norte, Sarangani, North Cotabato, Negros Oriental and Northern and Western Samar.
“Karamihan ng mahirap nasa Mindanao, kaya yung isa nating project naka-focus sa mga Lumad schools doon. It’s included in the funding given by PAGCOR,” Maza said.
NAPC will partner with the University of the Philippines, Department of Social Welfare and Development Department (DSWD) and Local Government Units (LGUs) to improve the education in Lumad schools in different parts of Mindanao. “They need buildings and other equipment like computers. Yun yung ipo-provide natin sa Lumad schools,” Maza added.
Meanwhile for its livelihood component, NAPC will focus on coconut farmers in Bohol. “There is an existing plantation there. We will upgrade it and we will train the farmers including those who are not from Bohol para sa production ng ibang products ng coconut,” Maza said.
NAPC will also improve their ‘Talambayan’ Open Data Solution for Poverty Monitoring. “It is tala ng bayan data bank. We already have a platform but we plan to make it public so that people could access it. We need to upgrade it, sustain and manage the platform,” she explained.
All these plans, according to Maza will be realized through the P50-million funding assistance from PAGCOR. “We are very grateful to PAGCOR for supporting the anti-poverty projects of NAPC. Ito ay mga prototype projects so hindi lang ito nagbibigay ng pera dun sa komunidad, kundi ito ay ating binubuo bilang adbokasiya, bilang ehemplo kung paano tutugunan o aangkop sa kahirapan sa bansa na napaka-seryosong problema. We are happy that PAGCOR is with us in this endeavor to alleviate poverty,” Maza expressed.
The National Anti-Poverty Commission is a government agency that coordinates, monitors and evaluates poverty reduction programs of national and local government. It also ensures the marginalized sectors can participate in governance and the development of anti-poverty programs that primarily serve the poor.