PSFI and MBFI Launched 'Roots to Shoots: Pasacao 2.0' to Scale Up Local Health and Nutrition in Camarines Sur
On January 17, 2024, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) officially sealed their commitment with the Municipality of Pasacao to launch the ‘Roots to Shoots: Pasacao 2.0’ program.
Local partners graced the event with the participation of Pasacao Local Government Unit officials and personnel led by Mayor Jorge Bengua and Vice Mayor Maryol Tayco. Also in attendance were Pilipinas Shell Foundation’s Director for Programs, Sherwin Yap, and Senior Program Manager on Nutrition and Food Security, Maria Pamela Castro; Shell Pilipinas Corporation’s (SPC) Pasacao Terminal Operations Supervisor, Rone Mark Narciso; MBFI’s President Aniceto Sobrepeña, Executive Vice President Philip Dy, and Grants and Partnerships Unit Head Marievic Mariano; Manila Water Foundation’s (MWF) Program Manager – Integrated WASH, Blessille Par; and World Vision Development Foundation’s (WVDF) Corporate Engagement Officer, Rafael Quimel. The multi-sectoral effort responds to the critical issue of malnutrition affecting children under the age of 5, particularly during their first 1,000 days (about 2.5 years).
PSFI Director for Programs Sherwin Yap emphasized the crucial importance of the first 1,000 days in a child’s development, which impact extends to the nation’s prosperity. This prompted PSFI to collaborate with experts to create a strong program that gave birth to Roots to Shoots.
Aligned with a shared vision, the partnership will adopt a holistic, community-based approach, integrating food security and livelihood (FSL), mother and child care (MCC) and nutrition, and water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). These components aim to improve food security and water and sanitation access, promote good hygiene practices, and elevate the nutrition status of caregivers and their children.
MBFI President Aniceto Sobrepeña highlighted that in the Foundation’s 45th Anniversary this year, ‘Roots to Shoots: Pasacao 2.0’ is one of its flagship programs in Grants and the significance of the partnership as MBFI’s grants programming transitions to integrated, holistic, and multi-sectoral approach. He also added that with the program’s impact and successful results from previous implementations of ‘Roots to Shoots’, it only proves that the endeavor is worth the investment for a scalable program.
Barangay Sta. Rosa del Sur, grappling with a high prevalence of severe stunting and underweight children, becomes the focus of ‘Roots to Shoots: Pasacao 2.0.’ Building on the success of its pilot implementation, the expansion program aims to create conditions for the next generation to thrive and contribute positively to society. PSFI, in collaboration with WVDF and the MWF, will lead the implementation, while MBFI will provide support and funding.
The previous ‘Roots to Shoots’ implementation from 2019 to 2022 in Pasacao, Camarines Sur resulted in reduced incidences of stunting by 10.57%, wasting by 5.39%, and the number of underweight children by 6.91%. The new partnership aspires not only to address immediate health and nutrition challenges but to lay the foundation for a healthier and more resilient future for the community of Pasacao.