Sen. Grace Poe today urged Health Sec. Francisco Duque III to ensure the proper implementation of the First 1,000 Days Law that provides health and nutrition interventions to women and newborn children.
Poe, co-author and co-sponsor in the Senate of a measure scaling up the nutrition of mothers and their babies, said the Department of Health (DOH), as the lead implementing agency of the new law, should prioritize resources and efforts for the program.
"Ang pruweba ng isang maayos na batas ay hindi ang pagpasa ng Kongreso o pagpirma ng Pangulo kundi ang maayos na pagpapatupad nito," said Poe.
Poe said Republic Act 11148 or the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act is of particular importance to women as the nation celebrates the National Women's Month this March.
Under the newly approved law, the DOH, the National Nutrition Council, other government agencies and local government units shall ensure delivery of health and nutrition programs to pregnant women and infants in the first 1,000 days. They shall likewise develop intervention packages for infants, young children, adolescent females, and pregnant and lactating women.
Women and infants shall also have access to micronutrient supplements, nutrition, oral health services, counselling and social welfare support, among others.
"This brief period which covers the nine months in the womb to two years of a baby's life can determine the fate of Filipino children and thus, of our country. If this is properly implemented, we are one step closer to closing a major gap in our social policy or the lack of care for mothers and children in the first 1,000 days of life," said Poe.
Poe said the DOH should also prioritize beneficiaries in hard to reach rural areas.
"Just like the first 1,000 days, a law's fate is shaped during its infancy, whether or not it is fully and faithfully implemented upon its passage," Poe said.