Palace: IATF OKs cash, food packs for kids under 2, 'nutritionally at risk' pregnant women

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 02 2020 12:09 PM

Residents living under a bridge in San Andres, Manila wait for volunteers distributing relief packs beside a signage they put up along Osmeña Highway, Manila on April 27, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA— A task force leading the country's pandemic response has approved the release of cash and food packs for children under 2 and pregnant women lacking proper nutrition, Malacañang said Friday. 

The "dietary supplementation program" will cover children aged 6 to 23 months and "nutritionally at-risk" pregnant women, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. 

"Ito po'y ipamimigay sa pamamagitan ng cash o di naman po kaya'y food pack," he said in a Laging Handa press briefing. 

(This will be distributed in the form of cash or food packs.)

"This forms part of improving the health care of the citizens and a means to eliminating hunger which has been aggravated by the pandemic," Roque added in a statement. 

There were no other immediate details available about the program. 

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted varying degrees of lockdowns since March, left millions of Filipinos jobless, and dragged the economy into recession. 

A record-high of 30.7 percent of Filipino families or an estimated 7.6 million households experienced involuntary hunger due to lack of food at least once in the past 3 months, according to a September survey by the Social Weather Stations.