MAP to focus on attracting FDI in 2023, minimizing child malnutrition

THE Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said its areas of focus for 2023 will be attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and addressing child malnutrition.

Benedicta Du-Baladad, MAP president, said during her speech at the business group’s general membership meeting in Taguig City on Wednesday that the organization hopes to conduct a series of investment promotion briefings and missions. The program will be known as “MAPping the Investment Ecosystem” in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry. The first activity of the program is scheduled for April 19.

“We aim to enhance the understanding of the growth trajectory of the Philippines and why it is a viable option for investments. We also aim to identify investment priorities, including the value chain that can support or expand the market, domestically, how we can link the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to foreign investors through the development of an ecosystem,” Ms. Du-Baladad said.

“We also seek to learn about the policy landscape and the incentives that are available for investors. Meet with the agencies that can help ease the processes for doing business in the Philippines, and help shape the future of sustainable investment,” she added.

She also pointed to the long-term threat that malnutrition represents in terms of the quality of the future workforce.

“One in three Filipino children aged five years old and below is severely malnourished, manifested in stunting, which is a standard deviation shorter than the median height for their age. 90% of brain development happens by age five. A stunted child will grow up with impaired cognitive and learning ability, memory and intellect, unable to reach full mental and physical potential,” Ms. Du-Baladad said.

“Our current education crisis is not just about classrooms, textbooks and teachers, but also about poorly nourished children unable to learn, due to weakened learning ability as a result of stunting, and the inability to concentrate in class on a hungry stomach,” she said.

“Our much-vaunted demographic sweet spot is negated by the threat posed by stunted children,” she added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave