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image zero hunger task forceMANILA, Jan. 13 -- A year since its establishment, the government’s Zero Hunger Task Force (ZHTF) has been making significant progress in its efforts to address hunger in the country. And despite the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the task force is now marking its first year with the launch of the National Food Policy, as one of the task force’s important accomplishments to date.

This according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who at the first anniversary of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger and the launching of the NFP document, acknowledged the valuable contributions of the task force’s member agencies and private sector partners.

“In a span of one year a lot of things have happened; from typhoons and other calamities that have hit our country to our continuing battle to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Palace official.

image SPMC new molecular laboratory

The new P18-million molecular laboratory in the Southern Philippine Medical Center compound is expected to quadruple the existing COVID-19 testing capacity of the hospital. This according to Fr. Joel Tabora, president of the Ateneo de Davao University.

“Through this facility, its capacity for testing for the virus using the gold standard for testing has at least quadrupled,” Fr. Tabora said.

Using RT PCR (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) test, the molecular laboratory is capable of testing 200 samples per day for an 8-hour shift and with a result turn-around time of three operating days.The negative pressure molecular laboratory, which was inaugurated on Jan. 9, was established thru the donation of Metrobank Foundation and George Ty Foundation to the Ateneo de Davao University for it to build the laboratory which was in turn donated to the SPMC.

2021 international year of fruits and vegetables bannerThe United Nations is declaring 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, spotlighting their vital role in human nutrition and food security, as well as urging efforts to improve sustainable production and reduce waste.

Proclaimed at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, IYFV 2021 is dedicated to raising awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health. UN has designated the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as lead agency for celebrating the year in collaboration with other relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system.

In a message during its launching last 15 December 2020, Secretary-General António Guterres said that despite tremendous benefits of fruits and vegetables, “we do not consume enough of them.”

“Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy and varied diet. They provide the human body with an abundance of nutrients, strengthen immune systems and help lower risks for a number of diseases,” he said.

image DavNorAlmost 30,000 patients admitted in Davao del Norte provincial hospitals benefited from the extended zero hospital billing amounting to more than P28 million in year 2020 alone. Data from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) says that a total of 29,838 patients benefitted from Gov. Edwin I. Jubahib's Zero-Billing policy.

Davao del Norte PSWDO Department Head Rose Rapista explained that the Zero-Billing Policy is being implemented in provincial district hospitals in connection with the Malasakit Program which involves the Office of the President, the Provincial Government and other national line agencies extending health and hospitalization assistance.

image Davao Oriental donation to depedTo help ensure continuous learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government of Davao Oriental turned over P5.7 million-worth of learning materials and equipment to the Department of Education (DepEd) in support of the agency’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP), last 05 January 2021. Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang led the turnover ceremony at the Provincial Capitol. According to him, the provincial government recognizes quality education as a foundation in improving people’s lives and obtaining sustainable development.

The donation include 17 units of duplicator machines, 9,322 reams of A4 book papers, 1,275 bottles of ink, 510 pieces master pens. These will be distributed to 17 district schools which comprise the whole Davao Oriental schools division.

image lumads receives classrooms25 November, Davao del Norte -- DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS Construction of Classrooms for Lumads (CCL) officially turned over a total of 6 classrooms to the residents of Sitio Banualay and Sitio Luno-luno, Gupitan, Municipality of Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

Present during the turn-over ceremony and blessing of the classrooms are Col. Luid Rex D Bergante,INF, (GSC) PA, Commanders 1001sr IBDE, 10ID, PA.; as well as LTC Rolly B Figueroa, CE (GSC) PA, commanding officer 534th Engineer Pacesetter Construction Battalion, 5nd Engineer Brigade PA.; Hon, Maria Theresa R. Timbol, Municipal Mayor of Kapalong; LTC Ronaldo DP Sarmiento, Inf,(GSC) PA, Commanding Officer 60IB; KC-CIDSS IPCDD - CCL Staff, and officials of both barangays.