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Poverty reduction is everybody’s concern, says DSWD9 official

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Pagadian City - “Everybody knew that poverty brings us all together here”, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-IX) Regional Director Teodulo R. Romo, Jr. said in his closing statement during the Convergence Caravan on Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) held on September 15 in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur.

There is no program, no agency of the government that can solely solve the problem on poverty reduction, Director Romo stressed.

He said, the only effective way to be able to solve this problem sustainably is thru the convergence of all of us. This is not only the problem of the local government units (LGUs) nor of the DSWD alone, but all of us. Let us join hands to address this by implementing all available programs we have for the Pantawid beneficiaries, Romo added.

For the beneficiaries, Pantawid Pamilya is not enough, let us not depend only on this program, we need to provide them a sustainable livelihood, Romo said.

He said, soon their agency will forge a partnership with the provincial government headed by Gov. Antonio Cerilles and other line agencies including the local government. This is one way, we can provide a sustainable income to our beneficiaries, if incase Pantawid program will be phase out.

Romo said one of the project is the cassava production, as what Gov. Cerilles claimed that there is a big potential of cassava production in the province that could provide a long term poverty reduction income to our Pantawid beneficiaries.

Dir. Romo said that he was convinced and still convinced that cassava production is the best opportunity that can provide a long term opportunity income to our beneficiaries. He added, that they have started discussing as to the pilot areas for the implementation of this project which includes the concept to be applied in the respective towns and households of our 4Ps beneficiaries.

In a bigger way, our vision is to make the whole Zamboanga del Sur as the cassava capital of the Zamboanga Peninsula, so let us support this project, Romo urged. I believe if we can show to Secretary Dinky Soliman that the cassava production is viable and profitable we will advocate this project to the department for national implementation as part of convergence of poverty reduction with the Pantawid program, Romo said.

Another big potential of the province is the partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Greening Program. Through this program there is also an opportunity for our Pantawid beneficiaries to earn extra income thru seedling production, he said.

And the other one Romo added, is the rubber plantation which is being promoted by the DENR to be planted in the upland areas. “I think rubber has the capacity to provide additional income to our 4Ps beneficiaries,” Romo exclaimed.

He said, we have discussed and agreed with DENR Regional Director Arleigh Adorable to look for a pilot area in the province with big potential for the rubber plantation for our Pantawid beneficiaries that would match with the NGP for poverty reduction.

He also urged the beneficiaries of 4Ps to use properly the financial assistance they received from the program for the good of their family. He asked them to support the program, because there are still some 2.6 million poor Filipinos in the entire country awaiting for their term to avail such assistance from the government.

You, the beneficiaries of today has the responsibility to show to the people and to our leaders especially to Congress that you are worth receiving such assistance. There are still a lot of our poor families who are qualified and wish to avail of the assistance you are enjoying today, Romo said. (Claro A. Lanipa-PIA9-ZDS/BST)




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