December 9, 2019 | MalacaƱang, Manila

Good morning!

It is an honor to be part of this very important initiative.

As we all know, the incidence of worsening hunger and poverty in any society leads to undesirable consequences that can destroy the nation's peace and order.

The original Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP) forged among the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and Department Of Social Welfare And Development (DSWD) in 2016, was a significant step towards the right direction.

While the PAHP has made considerable strides in hunger mitigation, food security, and poverty reduction, this enhanced convergence we have agreed will further consolidate our efforts, improve our chances of realizing our goals, and surely benefit more of our kababayan.

On the part of TESDA, we will extend our services to provide relevant skills and entrepreneurship training interventions to community-based organizations, agrarian reform beneficiaries organization, sustainable livelihood associations, and other sectors of our society who need them most.

Likewise, we will also provide the necessary support for value-chain programming of participating community-based organizations and community enterprises by conducting interrelated training programs to ensure sustainability and create longer term impact for our programs.

TESDA has been employing a two-pronged strategy in its drive towards poverty reduction.

By continuously striving for global competitiveness, TESDA ensures a constant supply of skilled workers that can compete alongside their counterparts in the global arena, aside from meeting local industry standards.

Our second approach of providing training for social equity calls for the provision of skills programs that empower the members of our society especially those in the lower strata, who, once skilled, are appropriately enabled to participate in nation building.

At this point, we might think that we have very limited time to realize our goals considering, for instance, those set within the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, and the standing presidential directive to reduce poverty incidence to under 14% by 2022.

But these are still doable, with the joining of forces we have committed today, and the collective resolve that we have as government agencies and as individual citizens of this country.

We look forward to working with all of you and together soon make a difference.

Maraming salamat at mabuhay po tayong lahat.

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