Marcos rolls out P10 billion program vs malnutrition

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Marcos rolls out P10 billion program vs malnutrition
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. led the simultaneous bamboo and tree planting ceremony in San Mateo, Rizal on Tuesday (September 13, 2022).
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Citing the role of well-nourished and healthy citizens in economic development, President Marcos yesterday launched a P10-billion program aimed at addressing malnutrition in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project (PMNP) at the Manila Hotel, Marcos warned against the insidiousness of the malnutrition problem.

“Malnutrition is, in turn, linked to long-term adverse developmental impacts, taking its toll on our people’s learning ability, academic performance, all the way to productivity and employment opportunities – and it also carries with it hereditary implications,” he said.

The PMNP adopts a multi-sectoral community participatory approach, where services go straight to local government units (LGUs) most in need of interventions, including health care and nutrition, according to the President.

“Usually, health does not – health care does not become a priority (of LGUs) simply because there’s little capacity and ability and skills and manpower on the local level to be able to achieve all the threshold levels, let us say, of health care, of nutrition and all of these things that we are now recognizing to be an important part to the solution of malnutrition,” he said.

The PMNP, which is being funded through a loan from the World Bank, will be implemented in 275 municipalities until 2025.

Of the total, 40 municipalities are located in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Marcos cited the recent Expanded National Nutrition Survey, which showed a high incidence of stunting among Filipino children.

“This is not to say that only the young are vulnerable. Other age groups are not spared from these nutritional problems,” he said.

Based on government data, the program will benefit about 977,626 stunted children.

Meanwhile, Marcos said they are looking at incentivizing LGUs that will successfully implement the program.

“As if these were not enough, the program will also incentivize the participating LGUs. And we were just having a very quick discussion about how that should be – how we can achieve that,” he said.

The Chief Executive also urged Congress to continue crafting measures that will help eradicate malnutrition and uplift the standards of primary health care and nutrition in the country.


As this developed, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Health (DOH) yesterday met with mayors to strengthen the fight against stunting in the country.

At a Mayor’s Forum, Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian and DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire underscored the need for local chief executives to step up the implementation of the PMNP.

In his message, Gatchalian assured local chief executives of a stronger partnership with the DSWD.

“We want to make sure that your voices are heard. We want to make sure that this is collaborative and consultative. This will be the driving principle of the DSWD in the future whenever we release programs,” he said.

The Philippines ranks fifth among countries in the East Asia and Pacific Region with the highest stunting prevalence and one of 10 countries with the highest number of stunted children in the world. — Sheila Crisostomo

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