/ 28 July 2023

SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian, co-chairman of the Congressional Commission on Education, urged the Early Childhood Care Development Council handle early childhood programs.

“Dapat talaga lahat ng functions ng early childhood, nasa ECCD Council na, wala na sa DSWD,” Gatchalian said during a roundtable discussion of government agencies implementing nutrition and feeding programs.

“The law is very clear: policy, standards, accreditation ng mga day care, lahat dapat sa kanila na,” he added.

The roundtable was attended by Gatchalian and his co-chairman Rep. Roman Romulo, Advisory Council member Olivia Lucas, representing E-Net Philippines, and Standing Committee Member Elvin Uy.

Government agencies represented were the Department of Education, ECCD Council, Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Nutrition Council and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Meanwhile, Dr. Valerie T. Ulep, senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, said that malnutrition issues must be resolved with a package of solutions.

She urged different government agencies to work together to deliver a coordinated set of interventions to address stunting and malnutrition.

“We should look at things in a package, not a single program that will address stunting in an instant,” he said.

“When you look at the system, it’s highly fragmented – someone is delivering this, but the child, after six months, will not receive the complementary feeding anymore. So it’s a constant assault to the body…and if we fail to deliver a comprehensive package, then we fail to solve this problem,” Ulep said.