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DSWD calls for stronger collab to address children’s health, nutrition needs

A senior official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday (October 24) emphasized the importance of building stronger partnerships to address the overall health and nutrition needs of children at the Talakayang Makabata press conference in Quezon City.

DSWD Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Irene Dumlao said the need for a whole-of-society approach is necessary to reinforce existing interventions for children, especially for post-pandemic healthcare and nutrition.

“Napakahalaga talaga ng whole-of-society approach sa pagtugon sa mga problema ng ating pamahalaan…mahalaga talaga yung collaboration among other agencies, among other stakeholders,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao said.

(The whole of society approach is very important in responding to the problems faced by the government…we see the importance of collaboration among other agencies.)

The Talakayang Makabata is an annual press conference leading toward the National Children’s Month (NCM) in November. For this year, the theme of the month-long celebration is “Healthy, Nourished, Sheltered: Ensuring the Right of Life for All.”

The theme aims to give attention to the healthcare and nutrition concerns of children in terms of their rights to survival, development, protection, and participation.

At the press conference, Asst. Sec. Dumlao provided updates on the implementation of DSWD programs that provide nutrition and health interventions to children such as the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP), Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Bangsamoro Umpungan sa Nutrisyon (BangUn) Project, and the WALANG GUTOM 2027: Food Stamp Program (FSP).

The DSWD official noted that these social assistance must be complementary to building the capacities of the beneficiaries to become better parents or guardians.

“Yung social assistance na ibinabahagi natin dapat may kasabayan iyan na interventions pang-build ng competencies and capabilities of the families, yung mga nag-aalaga sa mga bata, so that they could build a better future for their children,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao pointed out.

(The social assistance that we provide should be accompanied by interventions that build the competencies and capabilities of the families, of those who take care of the children, so that they could build a better future for them.)

The DSWD official added: “Ang mga programa ay karagdagan lamang sa ibinabahagi natin pero pag-uwi po ng mga bata kinakailangan na magpatuloy ang pagbibigay ng nutrisyon at masustansyang pagkain sa kanila.”

(The programs only serve to augment the needs of children, but when they go home, it is necessary that they continue to consume nutritious and healthy food.)

Aside from Asst. Sec. Dumlao, other speakers during the press conference were Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) Executive Director Undersecretary Angelo Tapales; Department of Health (DOH) Division Chief Dr. Miguel Angelo Mantarin; National Youth Commission (NYC) Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer Leah Villalon; National Nutrition Council (NNC) OIC Deputy Executive Director Jovita Raval; and child representative Cammy Akilah Garcia.

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