Cadiz City, Bago City named PH's 'Walang Gutom' champs

Local News Official
Local News OfficialSunStar File Photo

The cities of Cadiz and Bago were named as among the  "Walang Gutom" champions in the country at the awarding rites held in Malacañang Palace on Wednesday, June 26.

The two cities were among the four who made it to the component city category in the maiden "Walang Gutom" Awards led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Cadiz City won through its Project PAT-BAGSIK (Pagkaon Aton Tatapon-Bata Aton Giyahan sa Iya Kaalam) - a holistic approach to sustainable food security.

Mayor Salvador Escalante, Jr. said Project PAT-BAGSIK was a "twin-track" approach to solving both hunger and poverty in Cadiz City.

"It's also a whole-of-the-government approach that enhances integration, coordination, collaboration, and the overall capacity to address interconnected issues in food security, poverty, hunger and malnutrition," he added.

In simple parlance, he said, it's a "womb-to-tomb" initiative to take care not just of the health, but almost the total well-being of Cadiznons from all walks of life.

Conceived and born in 2010, Project PAT was conceptualized by then-mayor Patrick Escalante, which coincided with his nickname Pat, just as a feeding program in all public elementary schools in Cadiz with 25,000 kid beneficiaries.

The main purpose at that time was to address the 4.11% school dropout rate in the city.

After a year, the result was commendable hitting a notable reduction to only 0.90% in school drop-out.

Amazed by the output, Escalante said he expanded Project PAT to Project PAT-BAGSIK  to be a way of life and a culture of pro-active synergy embedded in the resilient heritage of the Cadizeños.

In addition, he launched Project BADING ( Busong Aton Depensahan, Ika-ayong lawas sang Nanay aton Gina-tipigan), another initiative that takes care the pregnant women in Cadiz as the city government's way of nurturing life as early after conception.

Escalante, however, said the concreting of all farm-to-market roads, farm mechanization, and sustainable aids to farmers and fisherfolks summed up to a remarkable accomplishment of the city's  "zero hunger" goal.

"In sum, we're thankful that Malacañang finally recognized our efforts toward a solution to hunger and poverty. This is another milestone for our city that we Cadizeños must be proud of," Escalante said.

He, however, acknowledged his brother, Patrick, who led the inception of Project PAT.

"It was our inspiration that led us to where we are now in our quest to solve hunger and poverty in Cadiz one step at a time," he said.

Bago City meanwhile won through their Food staple sufficiency program.

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr..hailed all the "Walang Gutom" champions for their noteworthy initiatives or strategies in solving hunger and poverty in their respective localities. (TDE)

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