Marcos urges lawmakers to craft laws vs. malnutrition


President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Wednesday urged lawmakers to "enshrine" into law policies that will help address malnutrition in the country.

Marcos made the call as he attended the launching of the Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project (PMNP) held at the Manila Hotel.

"We must continue to exert our best efforts to ensure a well-orchestrated and coordinated strategy to implement not only the PMNP but all related nutritional programs throughout the country, so as to be able to get a maximum effect for all our efforts," Marcos said in his speech.

"Let me also take this opportunity to enjoin our lawmakers for their assistance in this endeavor by helping us develop and enshrine into law policies that will help eradicate malnutrition and uplift the standards of primary health care and nutrition in the Philippines," he added.

According to Marcos, healthcare is not a priority in local government units "because there's little capacity and ability and skills and manpower at the local level to be able to achieve all the threshold levels."

"So we have found a way to bring the LGUs in. Because it is without their partnership, we do not get to what is often referred to as the last mile," the President said.

"And that is always the problem when you try to translate a program from the national level, a program of national government, all the way down to the local government, down to the barangay level," he added.

Marcos also encouraged the Department of Health to work with concerned government offices "in harmonizing and effecting sound diet and nutritional policies and practices for our people."

The PMNP will support the government in adopting a bold, multisectoral nutrition approach to deliver a coordinated package of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions across various local government unit platforms.


The project aims to achieve key impacts on the health and nutrition of children. It will be implemented in 235 local government units across the country.

In a separate interview, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the project, which has an estimated cost of P10 billion, will be funded by the World Bank.

"This is a World Bank loan where this has been negotiated for three years already. This has been a part of the initiatives that we have identified so that we can be able to improve the nutritions of our community," Vergeire said.

According to Vergeire, they expect the project to reduce the number of stunted children by 8% after three years.

"Naipatupad ito sa ibang bansa na rin, nagawa na rin ito ng World Bank katulong ng ibang gobyerno sa ibang bansa and ang kanilang naging outcome doon ay nakapagreduce sila by as much as 8% of stunted children doon sa mga bansang naisakatuparan ito. So, hopefully, we also get to have that kind of outcome," she said. 

(This has been implemented in other countries with the help of the World Bank. The program was able to reduce the number of stunted children in those countries by as much as 8%. So, hopefully, we also get to have that kind of outcome.)

Vergeire said localities could receive performance-based grants once they reach the targeted outcome set by the government.  —KBK/VBL, GMA Integrated News