“Iyong masabi lang na may feeding program pero hindi naman natin pinondohan nang tama, ay nakalulungkot (It is sad to say that we have a feeding program, but we do not fund it properly),” Secretary Gatchalian said in reply to Senator Grace Poe’s query during the deliberation of the CA’s Committee on Labor, Social Welfare, and Migrant Workers.
Secretary Gatchalian called for the support of various stakeholders, particularly of the legislators, saying that “we really need to put the effort in moving that budget to 27 pesos per head or else we are going around the circle or if I may dare say so, that it is going to be wasteful spending.”
Currently, a Php21.00 fund per child enrolled in the Child Development Center (CDC) and Supervised Neighborhood Play was allotted for the implementation of the feeding program.
“We would again push for 27 pesos because iyong 21 is not enough. Parang ang nangyayari lang, nilagyan natin ng pondo para masabi lang na may feeding program tayo (It seems like what’s happening is that we allocated funds just to say that we have a feeding program),” the DSWD chief pointed out.
Secretary Gatchalian also mentioned that the DSWD partnered with the Department of Health (DOH), the World Bank (WB) and other concerned agencies to implement the Philippine Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Program (PMNP) in an effort to harmonize the delivery of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions to reduce stunting in targeted localities around the country.
“While DOH takes care of the nutrition-specific program, the DSWD takes care of nutrition sensitivity. Meaning, study shows it is not just about feeding them but also about the overall quality of the environment for the first 1000 days,” the Secretary explained.
For its part, the DSWD will focus on providing and holding community-based nutrition service delivery and multi-sectoral nutrition convergence through the Kapit-Bisig Laban Sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program, including the construction of WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools) facilities and improvement of food security facilities among others.