The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) has partnered with the city government here to implement a PHP3-million anti-poverty project that will benefit farmers in the hinterland villages.
Secretary Noel Felongco, head of NAPC, and Mayor Edgardo Labella on Thursday afternoon signed a memorandum of agreement at the Cebu City Hall for the establishment of a trading post where farmers from 32 upland villages will display their agricultural products.
Felongco said the PHP3-million fund for the project is sourced out from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) through a prototype of anti-poverty programs intended for rural areas, targeting rural farmers, fisherfolk and urban poor.
The project is in compliance with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive to lower down poverty incidence in the country through poverty alleviation programs spearheaded by NAPC, said Felongco in a press briefing shortly after the signing of the MOA.
“Right now, we have 21 percent poverty incidence in the country. The target is to make it 14 percent by 2022,” he said.
The project “will also contribute to the whole realization of Ambisyon Natin 2040. Ambisyon Natin 2040 is to transform our country as a progressive middle-class society wherein every Filipino will be given a comfortable life, that nobody, no areas will be left behind, and zero percent poverty condition in the Philippines by 2040,” Felongco said.
“We recognize the importance of delivering the government’s poverty reduction projects. That is why we strategized the implementation of the Poverty Reduction through Rural Development (PRRD) prototype projects,” he said in a statement released to media.
Through this project, the city government will provide a 150-square meter space to serve as trading post where consumers can buy agricultural and sea products from the highland farmers’ cooperatives and fishermen’s organizations at a cheaper price.
Labella said the trading post will not compete with the traders in Carbon Public Market.
“The price would be much cheaper (in the trading post) considering that there will be no middlemen. The purpose here is for the ordinary consumers to have immediate access to products at best price,” he told reporters.
According to Felongco, the project intends to establish one trading post, but “this will not prevent us from establishing another, depending on the need”.
Labella thanked Felongco for the pilot project for poverty alleviation. “If this would turn successful, there would be more of this type in the near future,” he said.
“I promise the secretary of my unequivocal and unqualified support for this project. I have said our country is in the midst of a very serious political and social imbalance. Too many have too little while too few have good things in life. And I think this is a step in the right direction to help our poor people alleviate their living conditions,” the mayor said.
Cebu City is one of the seven priority areas for the implementation of the PRRD prototype projects under the Pagcor-NAPC grant. Other areas covered by this project are Majayjay in Laguna, Kayapa in Nueva Vizcaya, Calbayog City in Samar, Talipao in Sulu, Villadolid in Negros Occidental, and Kauswagan, in Lanao del Norte. (PNA)