Poe urges gov't to provide aid to pregnant women, children during lockdown

Published April 22, 2020, 1:29 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Grace Poe has appealed to the government to provide pregnant women and children aged zero to 24 months with essential relief assistance amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Sen. Grace Poe (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Grace Poe
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Poe underscored the need for government intervention for children in their first 1,000 days to spare them from the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic.

“While our eyes are firmly focused on defeating the virus, we must not forget the babies and children who should be protected from hunger and malnutrition. In any crisis, the children are among the vulnerable who suffer disproportionately,” she said.

She pointed out that malnutrition affects the development of the brain and functions of the organs of children.

Poe said Republic Act No. 11148, the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act, could be used to ensure that pregnant and lactating mothers, and their babies have continuous supply of nutritious food amid the quarantine period.

The law, signed in November, 2018, strengthened government programs and provided funds to address malnutrition among mothers and their newborn children in the first 1,000 days.

“It takes a village to raise a child. We should work together to give children the health and nutrition they deserve,” said Poe, co-author and co-sponsor of RA 11148.

Poe commended barangays which have been making efforts to do the rounds and bring basic services to their people, especially the most vulnerable.

She said social services dealing with the coronavirus disease should also be child-focused.

“Caring for babies in the midst of this crisis is ensuring our own future and hope,” Poe said.

The government is currently studying whether to extend, modify, or lift the ECQ being implemented in Luzon until April 30.