The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the East-West Seed Foundation (EWSF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on July 31, 2018 at the DSWD Social Welfare and Development Center for Asia and the Pacific, Taguig City, formalizing a partnership venture to implement community-based nutritional health promotion and food security through household vegetable gardening and advocacy.
DSWD, through its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya), addresses the call for more nutrition-sensitive program endeavors through promoting the “Gulayan sa Barangay” as mandated by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2018 and aims to contribute to the improvement of the overall health of its beneficiaries.
“The partnership between the Department and the ESWF is a very timely and worthy collaboration. The Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are establishing their own backyard and communal gardens using different bio-intensive gardening (BIG) techniques learned from the Family Development Sessions (FDS). With the partnership and shared vision with EWSF, we are looking forward to more healthy communities through giving them capacity building activities on improved vegetable gardening and nutrition education”, explained Director Leonardo C. Reynoso, Pantawid Pamilya National Program Manager.
ESFW is the corporate social responsibility arm of East-West Seed Company, one of the best seed suppliers in the Philippines that aims to provide innovative products and services that will help increase the income of vegetable farmers, and promote the growth and quality of the tropical vegetable industry.
The project features a well-designed framework and a systematic cycle which includes planning and capability building activities to both implementers and key participants. Part of the engagement is to train Pantawid Pamilya parents and field workers to become “barefoot technicians” or gardening champions who are expected to promote the advocacy in their respective communities. The project is set to pilot in selected areas of Antique, Capiz, Batangas, and Cavite.
Mr. Crisanto R. Sabino, EWSF Executive Director said that this partnership provides EWSF an opportunity to fulfill its vision on food security and providing quality nutrition education sessions to Filipino communities. EWSF shared that they are privileged to be part of this partnership and looks forward to the success of making nutrition-sensitive Pantawid Pamilya communities.
Pantawid Pamilya is a social protection/human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households primarily of children aged 0-18 and pregnant women. Program beneficiaries receive cash grants provided that that they comply with the program conditions applicable to their households. The conditions are: pregnant women must avail pre- and post-natal care and be attended during childbirth by a trained health professional; parents must attend Family Development Sessions (FDS); 0-5 year old children must receive regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines; 6-14 years old children must receive deworming pills twice a year; and children beneficiaries (0-18 years old) must enroll in school and maintain a class attendance of at least 85% per month.
As of May 2018, there are 4.39 million active households in the program.