Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian met with officials of national and private institutions who will help the agency’s efforts to fight hunger and achieve food security in the country.
In separate meetings Tuesday, April 18, at the DSWD Central Office, Sec. Gatchalian welcomed Metrobank Foundation, Inc. President Aniceto M. Sobrepeña, officials of the World Food Program (WFP), National Food Authority (NFA), National Nutrition Council (NNC), and Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).
During the meeting with Metrobank Foundation, Inc., Sec. Gatchalian discussed the initiatives and programs of the DSWD to mitigate hunger and achieve food security, including the provision of digital food stamps that may be used by its recipients to buy goods in grocery stores and supermarkets.
Metrobank Foundation’s Sobrepeña pledged his foundation’s readiness to assist the DSWD in the implementation of digital food stamps by sharing their technical banking and financial expertise, as well as locating and finding development and hunger bonds that may fund the anti-hunger program of the Department.
The provision of digital food stamps is in line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to alleviate hunger among the ranks of poor Filipinos.
In his meeting with representatives of WFP, NFA, NNC, and DOST-FNRI, Sec. Gatchalian encouraged participants to explore and strengthen partnerships on the plan of the DSWD to use and include iron-fortified rice in the family food packs for disaster-affected families and in its feeding programs.
The DSWD is pushing for the provision of fortified rice to help address the concern on micronutrient deficiency, especially among children belonging to the poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors in society.
Since assuming the leadership of the DSWD on January 31, Secretary Gatchalian has been continuously engaging both the public and private sectors in coming up with innovative solutions to achieve food security and end hunger and malnutrition in the country.