APC Philippines Roundtable Dinner: Revolutionising Early Childhood Development for Societal Development 

21 November 2022 | 18.00 – 21.00 GMT+8 | Chef Jessie @ Rockwell, Makati

How will the new administration approach urgent issues surrounding early childhood development, and what role will the philanthropy sector play in this new post-COVID era? The roundtable brought together APC members and guests from the philanthropy sector in the Philippines who are actively working in, or are interested in addressing ECD issues in the country.

Meeting Notes

Discussion

  • The meeting acknowledged that Local Government Units (LGUs) are very important in the implementation of ECD programmes, but asked how to help them prioritise this, since there are also many other pressing issues in their consideration. One suggestion was to incentivise them.
  • An attendee asked if APC can help with supporting policy changes and improvement.
  • An attendee asked if there is enough ECD training at university level. Mapua University responded that they, along with a few other universities do have ECD programmes at Bachelor level. The other problem is that there is a lack of licensing for ECD e.g. there is accreditation for Special Ed teachers, but none for ECD.
  • An attendee mentioned that the Philippines has a unique problem that is not discussed–which is the difficulty to access contraceptives. This results in unwanted and teenage pregnancies, and a whole host of related problems for adolescent mothers and young children.
  • The Philippine government has actually set aside PHP 290 Million for ECD–funding is there, but key is making sure it gets to the right parties and is used right.
  • Senator Win Gatchalian shared that one of the problems he faced as Mayor and working on the ground is locating people, which is currently being addressed by the on-going rollout of the National ID System, but this will still take some time.
  • He also explained that only 10% of age-relevant children are in daycare, which equates to 1.4M children.
  • There is also still a lack of reliable data, which makes work very difficult.
  • Stacey Choe shared about OneSky, which will be sharing about their Home-based caregiving programmes at the Philippines ECD Multisectoral Symposium (24 November 2022).
  • Other issues identified relate to the inequality in terms of resources at different regions i.e. 1% of property tax goes into a Special Education Fund, but in rural areas with less of such property will have less funding.
  • Early childhood workers are also very poorly paid.
  • Participants suggested that if there will be ECD councils set up at local level, they should coordinate and work together with the local nutrition council.
  • Several attendees who are philanthropists thanked the hosts and speakers for the opportunity to learn about the situation on ECD, the gaps and opportunities to contribute in this area. They will look into expanding their programmes.
  • APC also invited attendees to the ECD Multi-sectoral Online Symposium co-hosted with the Philippine ECCD Council (24 November)