The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in 2023 remained true to its commitment to improve the nutritional status of young Filipino children through its implementation of community-based feeding programs.
As part of the agency’s contribution to the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program of the government and Republic Act No. 11037 or the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act, the DSWD partners with local government units (LGUs) to implement the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP).
As chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger (IATF-ZH), the DSWD will continue to prioritize programs to ensure food security of Filipinos, Asst. Secretary for Legislative Affairs Irene Dumlao said.
“For this year, the Department will continue to strengthen its collaboration with national agencies, LGUs, and development partners to realize the vision of the Marcos Administration for a hunger-free Philippines,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao, who is also the agency’s data privacy officer and co-spokesperson, said.
The SFP provides nutritious snacks and hot meals to augment the regular meals of children aged 2 to 4 years that are enrolled in supervised neighborhood play (SNP), and children aged 3 to 5 years enrolled in child development centers (CDCs).
For the 12th Cycle of the SFP, which covers school year (SY) 2022 to 2023, some 1,935,515 young children received at least one fortified meal for a period of not less than 120 days in a year.
In the 13th Cycle of the program, which started in August 2023, about 864,998 children beneficiaries were served with nutritious meals nationwide.
The types of meals that were served to the children beneficiaries use indigenous foods and/or locally produced foods equivalent to 1/3 of the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake (RENI).
“In addition to our protective programs targeting the nutrition of children, the DSWD will scale up its pilot implementation of the Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program (FSP)in the first half of this year,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao pointed out.
The validation, registration, and redemption activities in the other pilot regions in Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Bicol (Region 5) SOCCSKSARGEN (Region 12) and CARAGA (Region 13) for the FSP are scheduled to commence this month.
Aside from the SFP, the DSWD initiated the Bangsamoro Umpungan sa Nutrisyon (BangUN) Project in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
BangUn is a convergence of services which aims to combat the high incidence of hunger and malnutrition among children in BARMM and provide health support to pregnant and nursing women.
In 2023, the BangUN Project served 18,867 children and 3,133 pregnant and nursing women in the BARMM.