Cebu City to form inter-agency task force to address child malnutrition
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Cebu City government is spearheading an inter-agency task force that will address the malnutrition issue among school children.
This was announced by Mayor Edgardo Labella during the Cebu City Nutrition Summit held on Tuesday, October 29, at St. Mark Hotel.
The summit – which was attended by representatives from government agencies, non-government organizations and private companies – was a venue to gather insights on hunger and sustainable programs in fighting malnutrition among disfranchised children and pregnant women.
“There are findings that many of our children from depressed areas are malnourished so we really have to come up with a program that will address malnutrition. How could you expect a healthy city if the citizens are sickly? We start at the very beginning, at a young age,” said Labella.
Jerone Castillo, acting Cebu City treasurer, said they will draft an executive order for the creation of an inter-agency task force, which will serve as structure for the implementation of the Kausaban Nutrition master plan.
Castillo and the mayor’s brother, John Labella, will serve as point persons for the program.
Castillo said a structure is needed because several sectors will be involved in the program.
“Then we will draw the implementation plans subject to the approval of the individual partners,” Castillo said.
He said the program will aim to target zero poverty in Cebu City’s children.
There are around 190,000 school children in Cebu City.
“When we made the initial discussion, we saw that there’s a gap in feeding. During school breaks, there’s no continuity of the program,” Castillo pointed out.
When the school children went back to school, Castill said they are malnourished or undernourished again.
With an inter-agency task force, Castillo said they will be able to create a program that will identify available resources and match these resources with target beneficiaries. / celr
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