November 13, 2023

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos urges local government units (LGUs) to focus on the health and nutrition of children as the month of November marks the 31st National Children’s Month (NCM).

“Dapat nating tutukan ang nutrisyon. Isa sa bawat tatlong Pilipinong bata ay undernourished, apektado ang kanilang brain development. Once na apektado ang utak ng bata sa first 1,000 days, mahihirapan na silang makabawi, apektado ang pag-aaral ng bata. Kaya ito ay pagtulungan natin,” Abalos said.

In his conversation with the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) Executive Director Undersecretary Angelo M. Tapales during the “DILG sa DZRH” radio TV program, Abalos invited the Council to work with the DILG in addressing the perennial problem of child beggars on metropolitan streets, especially with the upcoming Christmas season.

“I would like to congratulate CWC for the very comprehensive program on anti-cyberbullying and nutrition. Ako’y natutuwa at sana matutukan lang natin. Magtulungan tayo,” Abalos said.

In DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2023-152, Abalos prods provincial, city, municipal, and barangay LGUs to spearhead and support various activities aligned with the month-long NCM celebration with the theme “Healthy, Nourished, Sheltered: Ensuring the Right to Life for All.”

According to Abalos, recommended weekly activities shall be anchored on survival rights for the first week, developmental rights for the second week, participation rights and National Play Advocacy Week in the third week, and protection rights week or juvenile justice and welfare consciousness week in the fourth week.

Noting the pivotal role of children and youth in the government’s priority campaign against illegal drugs, Abalos likewise encourages the youth to be active partners for the Buhay Ingatan, Droga Ayawan (BIDA) holistic advocacy campaign.

In response, Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children CALABARZON youth leader Jean Claude Magdaong during his guesting in the program called on his fellow youth leaders to be one with the DILG not just in the advocacy against ‘gateway drugs’ like smoking and vaping but also in the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

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