Press Release
October 14, 2020


As the Senate continues its deliberations on the proposed budget for next year, Sen. Grace Poe seeks an accounting of the funds allocated for First 1,000 Days Act for 2021 as well as in the past two years.

"Matagal nang lumipas ang unang isang libong araw ng First 1,000 Days Act. Has it been nourished with funding in its infancy or is it already anemic and stunted?" asked Poe, who authored and sponsored Republic Act No. 11148, also known as the "Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act."

Poe noted that the said law which was enacted in 2018 contains 115 interventions that are scattered across 10 departments. However, only two components appeared to be funded in the proposed budget for 2021: P2.19 billion for micronutrient supplementation under the Department of Health (DOH) and a P159.33-million intervention package under the National Nutrition Council.

"Appropriate funding determines whether the law realizes its intent or remains a stillborn mandate," said Poe, who also cited a 2019 report by the Senate Executive-Legislative Liaison Service which found that the DOH's approach to budgeting was not aligned with the requirements contained in the law.

"At the very least, a provision in the 2021 budget which will require the concerned agencies to implement a tracking mechanism for mother-baby spending should be in place," stressed Poe, who mentioned the summary of climate-change expenditures in the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing as a possible model.

Poe emphasized the urgency of protecting the health and nutrition of mothers and children amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Mothers and their children are the most at-risk when families tighten their belts. Dapat nating siguruhin na sapat at diretso sa sikmura ang pondo para sa mga sanggol at ina," Poe said.

A Social Weather Stations survey bared that 7.6 million Filipinos experienced involuntary hunger in September. This is equivalent to 30.7 percent of the population—the highest incidence since the 23.8 percent recorded in March 2012.

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