This is a Finalist in the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Angat Buhay: Partnerships against Poverty
Office of the Vice President
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Upon assuming her term, Vice President Leni Robredo transformed the Office of the Vice President (OVP) from performing mainly ceremonial functions to advocating for the welfare of Filipinos, especially the marginalized. The OVP launched its flagship program, Angat Buhay, last October 2016 as its contribution to the fight against poverty. It brings together the public and private sectors to address the needs of families in the farthest and poorest communities in the Philippines.
The OVP works with partners in providing interventions through six advocacy areas: (1) food security and nutrition; (2) universal healthcare; (3) public education; (4) housing and resettlement; (5) rural development; and (6) women empowerment.
Background and Problem
Historically, the OVP has faced key constraints in terms of both budget and mandate. However, VP Leni’s emphasis on the need to serve the last, the least, and the lost despite these challenges led the Office to rethink its strategic position on how best to contribute in the fight against poverty. Building on VP Leni’s wide support from private companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions, the OVP implemented the Angat Buhay Program to serve as a convergence platform that connects marginalized communities with organizations that can address their needs. As a result of this convergence, developmental organizations and the OVP can implement responsive interventions that address both the symptoms and root causes of poverty.
Solution and Impact
Given the complex nature of poverty, Angat Buhay promotes a holistic and integrated approach to addressing poverty. In adopting this approach, multiple partners that specialize in different advocacies may be tapped to provide a combination of interventions that address the multiple dimensions of poverty.
An example is the OVP’s work with the farmer groups in Metro Naga in Camarines Sur. For decades, many of the farmers have been at the mercy of middlemen who have taken advantage of the lack of sufficient infrastructure granting access to markets for their produce. They would get up as early as three in the morning and labor all day, only to earn too little from their sweat and toil. They have the grit and determination to expand their businesses, but without the skills and networks to reach bigger markets and get their products out there, they fight a losing battle.
In the hope of overcoming these challenges, these farmers joined Angat Buhay’s Omasenso so Kabuhayan program, whose goal is to connect them with the market. With the help of partners such as the Metro Naga Development Council and the field offices of various line agencies, the farmer groups are undergoing sessions to learn new technologies to improve productivity and meet the quantity and quality requirements of local markets.
The progress made was not an easy feat as it required the support of various stakeholders, including institutional buyers across Metro Naga. But the efforts are now bearing fruit for the 11 farmer organizations from across the province. The Omasenso farmers just finished their third delivery of produce to Liberty Commercial Center last September 2019. For Robert Buayaban, president of the Agripreneur Farmers and Producers Association, Inc. of Libmanan, Camarines Sur, the program has made them more confident and proud of the work they do.
There are other inspiring stories that Angat Buhay has made possible. But accomplishing these would not have been possible without the combined efforts of the OVP working in continuous collaboration with Local Government Units, private and non-governmental partners, as well as National Government Agencies, that such success becomes possible.
As of August 2019, Angat Buhay has mobilized 351.5 million pesos worth of resources in partnership with 347 partner organizations to serve more than 405,266 individuals and families in 211 cities and municipalities.