DA-PCC and DSWD recently launched a pilot convergence program on milk supplementation for Region 10 in cooperation with the local government units (LGUs) of Maramag, San Fernando and Damulog, Bukidnon. Said launching was held at the Maramag Gymnasium in Bukidnon last January 31.
A ceremonial awarding of check amounting to Php13,324,080 to PCC and cooperating LGUs highlighted the launch. Said amount was transferred by DSWD to PCC on November 29, 2016 to cover the purchase of milk that will be provided to 10,094 children registered in the target pilot Child Development Center (CDC) areas in Regions III, VII and X for 120 days.
The launch was also highlighted with a showcase of talents by the children-beneficiaries through dance performances and poetry recitals.
Present in the event were Dr. Enrico P. Garzon, Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Livestock; Manuel M. Borres, Assistant Regional Director for Administration; Atty. Jose Doromal, Vice Mayor of Maramag; guests from the central office of DSWD and PCC, 200 children-beneficiaries and their parents, CDC workers, and staff from participating LGUs.
In his speech, Asec. Garzon encouraged government agencies to find ways to collaborate and significantly contribute to the present administration’s goal of ending hunger and poverty in the country through accessible and affordable food for all.
“This partnership program of PCC and DSWD will not only provide an opportunity for the children of less privileged families to improve their nutritional status but will also motivate farmers to produce more milk because there is ready local market where they can supply their products. Through partnership, government agencies will be able to reach more sectors of our society,” Asec. Garzon explained.
Vice Mayor Borres, on the other hand, said the province of Bukidnon is fortunate to be the pilot site of the milk supplementation program.
“Each of the project stakeholders should see himself/herself as part of the project with a role or purpose to perform. The project gives meaning to the lives of the stakeholders when their purpose and involvement is clear,” he added.
Mary Joy Embate, one of the parent-representatives, expressed her gratitude and thanked the implementing agencies for extending nutrition support to their children. It makes her feel secured knowing that her child is well taken cared of in the child development center.
“Every time I ask my child after fetching her from the center, ‘What would you like to eat?’, my child answers, ‘I’m fed and full, Mom’,” Embate says.
The pilot DSWD-PCC convergence project consists of two components: milk supplementation and livelihood.
The milk supplementation component aims to improve the height and weight for age of the children using the Child Growth Standard (CGS) by providing the children with 200ml of toned milk for 120 days in addition to the daily regular meals they receive from the Supplementary Feeding Program of DSWD. The livelihood component, on the other hand, aims to improve the socioeconomic conditions of sustainable livelihood program (SLP) beneficiaries or poor/smallhold dairy farmers with the acquisition of profit generating enterprises or employment in carabao-based enterprises (CBEs).
If found successful, there is a possibility that the project will be replicated in other areas to continually promote rural and value chain development as well as human capital development, which are two of the 10-point agenda of the Duterte administration.