27 Jan Kicking Off the New Year by Building Capacity
for Code Monitoring in Philippines
From 17-19 January, IBFAN-ICDC embarked on its first capacity building assignment of year 2017 in Manila, Philippines – one of the earliest countries that adopted the International Code as their national law (Executive Order 51, commonly known as the Milk Code). The Code Monitoring Course was made possible through support from UNICEF Philippines and the coordinating efforts of Department of Health (DoH). Apart from representatives from DoH and Food and Drugs Bureau (FDA), it was attended by other relevant government departments such as Department of Trade and Investment (DTI) and Social Welfare Department (SWD), and civil society organizations such as Arugaan and World Vision. The training identified challenges and opportunities for improved implementation, specifically in monitoring and enforcement, and best practices that give effect to latest WHO recommendations on infant and young child feeding, including the 2016 Guidance on ending the inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children.
Interactive discussions generated throughout the workshop enabled participants to identify and clarify how they can each help to improve overall implementation within their own respective role. Issues of conflicts of interest that arise from rampant public-private partnership practices (e.g. school nutrition programmes and research projects in nutrition) were addressed, while undue influences in sponsorship, research, public private partnership and multi-stakeholderisation were identified. Participants reported certain areas that were previously unclear, such as reporting protocols and enforcement actions, were clarified through discussions; and many expressed feeling motivated to contribute within their capacity, to the improvement of overall implementation.