Lea Salonga urges kababayans to support "One Billion Hungry" project of UN Food and Agriculture Organization

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In her speech, Lea Salonga, Goodwill Ambassador of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), asked PNoy to look into the funds from "mga OFW sa iba't ibang bansa... The Philippines receives a lot of inbound remittances from overseas... Pero hindi po natin alam kung paano bumabalik sa pag-i-invest sa agriculture. That is one concern we should address at sana po ay ma-address ng ating pangulo," she said.


Multi-awarded international singer Lea Salonga visited farmers of Barangay Lomboy in La Paz, Tarlac, last month and made their day.

The world-renowned theater actress recently joined the ranks of Hollywood star Susan Sarandon, Italian actor Raoul Bova, and singer Celine Dion, when she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) last October 15, 2010.

Her duty is to promote and support all activities that would help the organization in achieving its goal—a world free from hunger.

Lea visited the farm town, accompanied by her mom Ligaya, to find out how residents have fared after two super typhoons hit the area in September and October 2009.

INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE. A representative of the European Union was there to present a food facility project, which focuses on expanding small-scale irrigation systems.

An agriculture field school also taught the Tarlaqueños new farming techniques and shared new technologies that would help them manage their crops all-year round.

During the latter part of the program, Lea handed out farm equipment and fertilizer and delivered a brief speech.

"Tunay po kayong mga bayani ng ating bayan. [Galing] sa inyong mga kamay ang sustansiya ng buong Pilipinas. Nasa inyo po ang responsibilidad.

"Congratulations po to everybody who participated in this program. Marami po kayong natutunan dito tulad ng application ng teknolohiya, pagtitipid po ng tubig, integrated crop management, at paggamit ng organic fertilizer na nakaka-inspire po tingnan.

"Nakakataba po ng puso na ang inyong mga efforts ay para sa ikabubuti din ng inyong kinabukasan. Hindi lang po para sa pagkain sa araw na ito or sa susunod na buwan kundi para sa mga susunod pang mga taon.

"I am very honored at nagagalak ako at ako'y inyong naimbita dito sa La Paz, Tarlac, para tingnan ang napakagandang proyektong ito. Tinuturuan po kayo na dagdagan ang ani at hindi lang po bigas ang inyong inaani kundi mga iba't ibang gulay at prutas na magbibigay sustansiya sa inyong sarili at pati na rin sa ating mga kababayan."

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The 40-year-old star also hailed the lady farmers in the audience.

"Listening to the stories kanina... nakaka-inspire bilang isang Pilipino, bilang isang ina, bilang isang babae. Nakaka-inspire siyempre ang mga babaeng magsasaka," Lea said.

At present, she espouses the One Billion Hungry project, and enjoins everyone to support it as well.

"Kung meron po kayong access sa Internet, ito po ay ang 1billionhungry.org na inumpisahan po ng FAO para po bigyan pansin na malapit na po sa isang bilyon katao ang nagugutom at wala pong alam kung paano nila makukuha ang isang platong pagkain sa araw-araw. Hindi lang po para sa isang indibidwal na tao kundi para sa isang pamilya. Nakakatakot pong isipin na maari pang madagdagan ang ating mga kababayan na makakaranas pa ng ganitong paghihirap.

"Some 37,000 Filipinos have joined the One Billion Hungry project. Sana po ito ay madadagdagan. As a goodwill ambassador, alam ko po na kapag tayo po ay nagsama-sama, ang ating mga nagugutom na mamayan ay makakakain ngayon. Mapapakain niya din ang sarili sa kinabukasan."

In closing, she underscored the fact that the farmers are the country's everyday heroes, "Isa itong napaka-importanteng proyekto. Dapat po kayo maging proud sa sarili sa inyong mga natutunan at sa inyong mga gagawin bilang mga importanteng miyembro ng ating komunidad at bilang bayani po ng Pilipinas."


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