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AC’s Walang Plastikan project among Top 17 entries in 2024 Walang Gutom Awards

Gets ₱1M in assistance

MALACAÑANG PALACE — The Angeles City Government, under the leadership of Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr., received P1 million worth of assistance from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. here after the city government’s “Walang Plastikan: Plastic Palit Bigas Project” was included in the Top 17 out of 101 entries of 2024 Walang Gutom Awards. 

The said assistance was provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program.

The national government recognized the project for its positive impact and innovative approach to end hunger and malnutrition in Angeles City.

“Hindi man po tayo pinalad na pumasok sa top 10, malaki pa rin po ang aking pasasalamat sa Galing Pook Foundation at DSWD dahil napansin at nakita po nila ang pagsisikap ng Angeles City Government upang wakasan ang kagutuman dito sa siyudad,” Lazatin said.

“Tuluy-tuloy pa rin po programang Walang Plastikan dahil gusto ko pong makasigurado na walang Angeleñong magugutom, walang Angeleñong may kalam ang tiyan, at walang Angeleñong matutulog ng gutom,” Mayor Lazatin added.

City Social Welfare and Development Officer Edna Duaso, City Planning and Development Officer Engr. Nilda Quito, Environmental Management System Head Francis Pangilinan, and City Nutrition Officer Francis De Guzman accompanied Mayor Lazatin during the awarding ceremony.

The Walang Plastikan: Plastic Palit Bigas Project is among the top 17 national finalists from 101 entries.

During the screening process, a total of 101 Local Government Units submitted their program entries to the Walang Gutom Awards from all 17 regions of the Philippines.

The selection process involved rigorous screening, validation, and panel interviews by an esteemed panel called the National Screening Committee (NSC), which identified the most outstanding initiatives. 

The National Screening Committee is composed of esteemed leaders in their respective fields: Dr. Emma Porio, Gisela Tiongson, Dr. Helen Day, Ramon Derige, Dr. Alfredo Valdez, Jr., MGen. Fernando Mesa, and Danilo Songco.

From 101 entries, 68 were endorsed for first screening, while 38 applications were dismissed due to lack of verifiable results and program duration. On the second screening, 25 entries advanced to the second screening, wherein 5 barangays, 9 municipalities, 7 cities and 4 provinces underwent three levels of program validation: an onsite program validation by DSWD; a presentation of the Local Chief Executive and program team to the NSC; and a conversation of the program partners and participants with the NSC. 

Before the last week of May, the NSC endorsed 17 out of the 25 validated programs as the national finalists, which consist of 2 barangays (Barangay Naggasican, Santiago City; and Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City), 6 municipalities (Tipo-Tipo, Basilan; Irosin, Sorsogon; Palompon, Leyte; Bacnotan, La Union; Asuncion, Davao del Norte; and Magallanes, Cavite), 6 cities (Angeles City; Cadiz City; Iloilo City; Mati City; Kidapawan City; and Bago City), and 3 provinces (Biliran; Quirino; and Isabela). 

During the presentation of program last June 25, Mayor Lazatin highlighted the contribution of Walang Plastikan in the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals particularly the SDG 2: Zero Hunger and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Lazatin also underscored that the program has reached the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries with 3,356 families or 87% of the 3,858 beneficiaries availing the program. 

The number of malnourished children also observed a significant decrease from 1,500 malnourished kids in 2021 to 617 kids in 2022 and further drop in number with 563 kids in 2023.

“Walang magugutom. Walang kalam ang tiyan. No Angeleño goes to bed hungry,” Lazatin said during the presentation. 

The project, which was launched by Mayor Lazatin on January 2022, has already collected 3,180,374 kilos of plastic to date. 

This is also equivalent to the kilos of rice already exchanged by Angeleño households.

Walang Gutom Awards is an award given by the DSWD and Galing Pook Foundation (GPF) looking for the most innovative and effective local governance programs in addressing food insecurity and hunger around the country.

Meanwhile, the city government also submitted the Walang Plastikan: Plastik Palit Bigas Project as entry in the Galing Pook Awards, a pioneering program that searches and recognizes innovative practices by LGUs.