Focus on most vulnerable to solve growing hunger problem in PH: Pangilinan

FOCUSING on the most vulnerable is the solution to the growing hunger problem in the country, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said following a visit to Aeta communities in Pampanga.  

“Lumalala ang problema ng gutom sa bansa dahil sa Covid. Kung gusto nating solusyunan ito, kailangang nakatuon ang pansin natin sa pinaka-apektado. Love of country is paying attention to the last, lost, and least of our people,” he said.

Last Friday, Pangilinan, assisted by Porac Mayor Jing Capil, went to Barangays Babo Pangulo, Villa Maria, and Inararo to hand over food packs to around 700 Aetas.

“Madalas, ang mga kapatid nating katutubo ang huli nating naaalala kapag may bagyo o lindol o itong pandemya. Dahil malayo sila sa syudad, nasa bundok. Kaya narito tayo para sa ating mga kababayan para ipaalam na hindi natin sila nakakalimutan. At sa abot ng ating makakaya, tutulong tayo,” he said.

The indigenous communities were among those severely affected by the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that hit the provinces in Central Luzon in April 2019. Aeta families in Barangay Diaz in Porac were relocated to the temporary settlement in Barangay Babo Pangulo.

Nancy Santos of Barangay Babo Pangulo thanked the senator and government and non-government entities who have paid attention to their plight.

“Salamat po dahil kayo po ay naging instrumento ng Panginoon para tumulong sa amin ngayon araw na ito. Hindi po ninyo winala sa puso ninyo ang mga katutubo kaya nagpapasalamat po kami ngayon,” Santos said.

Village leader Rogelio Valencia of Barangay Villa Maria also thanked the farmer-senator for providing support to the indigenous community.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo dahil Valentine’s, galing sa puso niya ang binigay niya sa atin sa araw na ito,” Valencia said.

Pangilinan, whose late father was born and raised in Pampanga, stressed that solutions to the country’s problems also lie in working together.

“Malalampasan natin ito pag tayo’y nagtutulungan. Doon tayo huhugot ng tapang at lakas para malampasan ang mga pagsubok, sa pamamagitan syempre ng panalangin at pagtutulungan,” he said.

Pangilinan likened the focus on the vulnerable to carrying a bagful of fruits from the bottom, not by the handles.

“Mapipigtal ang hawakan ng punong-puno na bayong. Kailangan buhatin mula sa ilalim,” he said.

Last December, Pangilinan’s office also distributed food packs to around 500 Aeta families in Mabalacat, Pampanga.