MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the First 1,000 Days Law which seeks to scale up nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life.
Known as Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act, Republic Act 11148 was signed by Duterte on Nov. 29, providing proper maternal and child health care program to prevent stunted growth of children.
Under the First 1,000 Days Law, the government is mandated to prioritize the nutrition of pre-pregnant, pregnant and lactating women, infants and young children.
It will also provide comprehensive strategy to address health and nutrition of children and institutionalize and scale up investment plans for health and nutrition in the regional and local development units.
The Senate unanimously approved the measure, or Senate Bill 1537 known as "Healthy Nanay and Bulilit Act", in March this year while the House of Representatives passed it in September last year.
According to Senator Ralph Recto, at least PHP17 billion will be needed to implement the 1,000 days program which will inoculate 2.7 million pregnant women against tetanus and diphtheria.
The new law seeks to strengthen the enforcement of Executive Order 51 or the Milk Code, and Republic Act 10028, or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009, which promotes optimal infant and young child feeding and maternity protection.
Several groups hailed the signing of new law with Save the Children Philippines reportedly saying that the measure will ensure children of poor families of access to government's quality health and nutrition services.
In an ABS-CBN news report, the group claimed some 95 children below 5 years old die every day due to preventable diseases caused by undernutrition.
The group said there are also at least 3.6 million stunted children in the country.
In its Facebook post, National Nutrition Council said the new law will provide support and training for mothers on how to ensure her and her child's health and nutrition.
The barangay health workers will also undergo training to be conducted by the Department of Health. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency