Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian gained the support of the members of the Management Association of the Philippines for the department’s efforts in fighting hunger.
Speaking before the MAP Membership General Meeting on Thursday (August 10) at the Shangri-La The Fort in Taguig City, Sec. Gatchalian presented the Food Stamp Program (FSP), the DSWD’s priority anti-hunger initiative, to the management experts.
Sec. Gatcalian discussed the overview of the FSP, including it’s key features, target beneficiaries, conditions, and implementation plan.
“We are going to use the food as currency, not cash as currency,” the DSWD Secretary said, explaining that the FSP is not a dole-out program.
The DSWD chief also emphasized that the FSP aims to provide food augmentation to 1 million households classified as ‘food poor’ by the Philippine Statistics Authority(PSA).
According to Sec. Gatchalian, the program’s goal to end involuntary hunger “gels very well with the mission of MAP” which is to complement the efforts of the government in reducing malnutrition and child stunting in the country.
“We have to end human suffering, we have to end hunger not tomorrow, but right now,” the Secretary pointed out.
The DSWD chief also underscored the importance of the whole-of-nation approach in the attainment of the desired outcome of the FSP.
“We are trying to reformat our social welfare. We want to make sure that every program we have is targeted, conditional, measurable, uses the whole of nation approach, and digital,” Sec. Gatchalin emphasized.
The DSWD chief also called for the support of the officers and members of MAP in “ending human suffering by ending hunger.”
“Hopefully we can get to work with the MAP in an effective manner in trying to end involuntary hunger and stunting,” Secretary Gatchalian said.
Atty. Benedicta Du-Balabad, the current MAP president, said the DSWD, the Department of Health (DOH), other agencies and MAP need to work together “in reversing malnutrition and child stunting and to provide a brighter future for the children.”
The MAP president stressed that, as experts in management, the organization can mobilize groups and private firms and maximize their resources to make collective efforts in addressing malnutrition and child stunting.
As a result of the series of meetings between Secretary Gatchalian and MAP representatives, the two parties are set to ink a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The MAP will assist the DSWD in facilitating the outcome measurement to help gauge the efficacy of the program.
The MOU is in line with the Department’s effort to “engage the whole nation and society in addressing social problems,” Secretary Gatchalian said.
MAP is an organization of private companies with more than 1,100 members nationwide whose goal is to build a progressive future for the Philippines by advocating shared responsibility.