‘Create enhanced programs, policies for child development’

Local News
Local News

VARIOUS government agencies in Central Visayas have called for more extensive programs and policies to optimize the growth and development of children in observance of National Children’s Month in November 2023.

The National Nutrition Council in Central Visayas (NNC 7) has urged local government units (LGUs) in the region to implement policies and lead programs that promote optimal growth and development of children, especially during their first 1,000 days.

The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) 7 and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 started their regional events to celebrate the 31st National Children’s Month at SM Seaside City Cebu at the South Road Properties in Cebu City on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

The NNC 7 proposed to LGUs the following nutrition-specific actions to promote children’s welfare: (a) introduction of new tax laws on unhealthy food; (b) imposition of tax subsidies on fruits and vegetables; and (c) institutionalizing food-for-work programs for families.

LGUs can also venture into creating targeted livelihood support and recognizing the efforts of communities that maintain food gardens and livestock production, according to the NNC 7.

The NNC 7 said these initiatives can contribute to the cultivation of an environment where Filipino children and their families enjoy their rights to adequate food and nutrition as a result of good governance and policies.

Meanwhile, the DSWD 7 and the CWC 7 celebrated the occasion with the theme, “Healthy, nourished, sheltered: Ensuring the Right to Life for All!”

The two government agencies focus on the overall healthcare and nutrition of children.

“We need to equip parents and duty-bearers across all media with the right information to prevent health misinformation and disinformation,” said DSWD 7 Director Shalaine Lucero during the kick-off ceremony at SM Seaside City Cebu.

“We need to promote health-seeking behavior within families and communities,” she added.

Lucero said a child, when raised to be healthy, becomes a productive adult capable of contributing to the community and the country’s economy through work and various activities.

Meanwhile, the NNC 7 called for other possible LGU-led activities, such as infant and young child feeding counseling and advocating for breastfeeding, which benefits not only the children but also the pregnant and lactating mothers.

The agency also invited all LGUs to coordinate or consult with them regarding nutrition policies and programs, particularly aligning them with the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2023-2028 to combat malnutrition across all ages.

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