NAPC seeks stronger anti-poverty initiatives in provinces

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/8 March) – The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) is pushing for the creation of special consultative bodies at the provincial level in a bid to further strengthen local anti-poverty initiatives.

Secretary Noel Felongco, NAPC lead covenor, said Friday they are currently working with provincial governments and other local stakeholders for the establishment before the end of the year of their respective anti-poverty Provincial Consultative Body (PCB).

He said the PCB is a convergent consultative mechanism at the provincial level that will serve as an avenue for collaboration and coordination between government agencies, led by local government units, and local communities.

The move is aimed to mainstream the people participation, through civil society and basic sectoral groups, in the implementation of anti-poverty projects.

Felongco cited at least 14 key sectors composed of farmers and landless rural workers, artisanal and landless fisher folk, urban poor, indigenous peoples, formal labor and migrant workers, workers in the informal sector, women, children, youth and students, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, victims of disasters and calamities, non-government organizations and cooperatives.

“They will have more voice and participation as they will be included in the planning, implementation, monitoring and assessment of programs and services on poverty eradication,” he said in a press conference.

He said the PCB will be chaired by the provincial governor, with the selected sectoral representative serving as co-chair.

Felongco said they have set mechanisms to ensure that the anti-poverty bodies, which will be monitored by NAPC, will not be “tied to the preferences” of the sitting provincial governor.

Citing its structure, he said the sectoral representative acting as co-chair may convene the PCB in case the provincial governor would fail to do so.

He said the provincial sectoral representative would be selected through an assembly of leaders and members of the 14 sectors.

Felongso said they have started the preparations for the conduct of the assemblies to facilitate the selection of the sectoral representatives.

He said they are targeting the creation and activation of the PCBs by the second half of the year.

“We will wait for the result of the May 13 elections as there could be changes in some provincial leaderships, he added. (MindaNews)