MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Gawad Kalinga (GK) Foundation, and Manila Water Foundation, Inc. (MWFI) at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City to strengthen the implementation of the Philippine Multi-sectoral Nutrition Project (PMNP).
The PMNP is a holistic project that aims to harmonize the delivery of multi-sectoral interventions to reduce stunting of children in targeted localities around the country.
The project is being implemented by the DSWD through the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH).
During the ceremonial signing, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian emphasized that the partnership with the two foundations emphasizes the whole-of-nation approach.
"We acknowledge that the department cannot end hunger and stunting by itself. Whether you are a part of a corporation or an individual, we want to turn the fight against hunger into a movement wherein all of us are going to take arms and put in our best initiative there is, to once and for all, end the number of stunting,” Gatchalian said.
"Today is another testimony that we cannot do it on our own. We do not have the monopoly to all the right answers in this fight. Putting Gawad Kalinga and Manila Water altogether in the PMNP, together with the mobilization of the local government units, we are doing things differently and embrace the whole of nation approach,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gawad Kalinga executive director Danilo R. Bercasio said it is an honor to become part of the effort to provide a better future for the Filipino youth.
“Katuwang ninyo ang Gawad Kalinga sa pagbibigay ng pag-asa lalong-lalo na sa mga liblib na lugar. Isang karangalan na makasama ang mga volunteers sa malawak na bayanihan upang mabigyan nang maayos na kinabukasan ang ating mga kabataan (The GK will be your partner in giving hope, especially in the remote areas. It is an honor to work alongside volunteers in the collective effort to provide a better future for our youth),” he said.
The partnership between the DSWD and Gawad Kalinga is rooted in a shared mission to combat hunger and poverty, while simultaneously empowering marginalized communities to take charge of their resources through the spirit of volunteerism.
MWFI President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Victor Emmanuel A. de Dios also signified his full support for the partnership with the DSWD.
“We thank Secretary Rex for considering Manila Water Foundation to join the partnership and embark on this timely project. The foundation has gallant engineers who can bring best practices and innovations in the way we can provide our services. We are eagerly anticipating this platform, a nationwide platform for us to showcase what we can do,” he said.
The MWFI, as the social development arm of the Manila Water Company, Inc., will partner with the DSWD in the implementation of the PMNP by sharing their expertise on sustainable water access, sanitation, and hygiene education programs.
Among the multi-sectoral interventions of the PMNP are enhanced access to clean water, sanitation, improved hygiene practices, early childhood care and development (ECCD) services, and expanded access to nutrition programs for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4PS) beneficiaries. (PNA)