In photos from top left to right: PSR Josephine Parilla (SCSD/SP Chairperson), Dir. Luis Banua (RDC Vice Chairperson), Dr. Doracie Zoleta-Nantes (SCSD/SP Co-Chairperson), Engr. Ladislao Andal (RDC Vice-Chairperson), Ms. Jhonnadelle Ritz Castillo (NNC Region IV-A) and other members of the Committee discussing the issues and recommendations on how to address F1K pilot implementation challenges in CALABARZON.

On November 11, 2020, the CALABARZON Sectoral Committee on Social Development/Social Protection (SCSD/SP) conducted its 4th Quarter Meeting via video conference to discuss social issues and concerns in the region. One of the matters discussed was on the issues encountered in the pilot implementation of the First 1000 Days Law in CALABARZON.

Ms. Jhonnadelle Ritz Castillo, nutrition coordinator of the Early Childhood Care and Development in the First 1000 Days Program (ECCD-F1K) of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) reported that program activities in the 15 pilot and expansion areas in Quezon and Rizal Province were either delayed, extended or put on hold due to limitation in mobility brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched in 2016, the F1K Program is a government initiative to address stunting and is anchored on the key elements of health, nutrition, early learning, and social services. Consistent with devolution of health services, NNC’s assistance to pilot local government units (LGUs) for the implementation of the program is until 2019 and thereafter, the LGUs shall continue the implementation of the program.

During the 2020 monitoring conducted by NNC, it was observed that only a few LGUs in the region included the F1K program in their annual investment programs (AIPs) and local development investment programs (LDIPs). The LDIP and AIP are bases for the local budget enacted by LGUs to fund various development programs. In response to this concern, the SCSD/SP endorsed a resolution to the RDC encouraging the pilot LGUs to integrate the ECCD-F1K program in their respective investment programs.

To address delayed implementation of F1K programs, Ms. Castillo said that the NNC will comply with the provisions of the DOH Memorandum 2020-0237 on the delivery of nutrition services during the COVID-19 pandemic. NNC IV-A also committed to continue their close communication with the local nutrition action officers and nutrition coordinators on the implementation and monitoring of F1K programs.

Lovely S. Mores, NEDA Region IV-A | November 16, 2020