Private sector acts on hunger

As the government moves to address the hunger situation, the private sector is also taking steps to help solve this problem.

On Aug. 21, Jose Ma. Montelibano announced an initiative called the Walang Iwanan Alliance. He is the Special Projects Head of Gawad Kalinga and the chairman of the Ateneo de Manila University 616569 Foundation.

WIA and GK have been involved in feeding programs for the last 10 years. When Montelibano saw the Social Weather Stations finding that the 9 percent hunger rate last December had grown to 21 percent  in July, he predicted an upward trajectory of more hunger.

On Sept. 27, SWS confirmed this with the hunger rate increasing to 31 percent, affecting seven and a half million Filipinos.

Montelibano identified four main factors that caused this: COVID-19, increased poverty, informal settlers in cramped spaces with nowhere to go, and limited government resources. Additional sources of help had to be found. They had to come from new creative ways for the private sector to contribute. Otherwise, the discontent would increase, and possibly lead to unrest.

But it appeared that not enough people were taking notice. Though many individuals in the private sector wanted to help, they did not know how.  

Montelibano therefore sounded the call to form a Walang Iwanan Alliance. It serves as a platform to systematically gather and integrate information on the Metro Manila hunger situation. WIA uses its experience and accumulated data in the field of hunger, less research and more hands-on, in sharing these to inform and motivate people to resolve a perennial problem. As WIA gains allies, it generates and shares knowledge and models about hunger mitigation and eradication. It then provides ways for different private sector groups and individuals to connect to the areas with the most hunger.

In addition, WIA identifies the different groups which are already effectively addressing the hunger effort. Links are provided to organizations and individuals who want to contribute cash and food to these groups for the expansion of their work. As WIA suggests, “Kung Hindi Gutom, Kayang Tumulong.”

Several organizations have given their support to this initiative. Among them are Gawad Kalinga, De La Salle University, Philippine Federation of Business and Professional Women, Federation of Philippine Industries, Alyansa Agrikultura, Globe Telecom and Kabisig sa Kalahi.

Topics: Jose Ma. Montelibano , Walang Iwanan Alliance , Gawad Kalinga , Ateneo de Manila University 616569 Foundation
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