PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos lead the second year of the nationwide Gift-Giving Day on Malacañang grounds on Sunday, distributing treats and providing fun-filled activities to less fortunate kids. — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZJOHN ROSALES

MALACAÑANG on Sunday held a gift-giving activity with the participation of over 1,700 children from select shelters and orphan care centers in the country.

The gift-giving activity, which was held simultaneously in 300 locations nationwide, was a partnership between the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and “private support groups” of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., among them Jollibee Food Corp. and San Miguel Corporation.

“There are 1,120 children in the National Capital Region (NCR) who received the early Christmas gifts; 449 in Cebu; 600 in Davao; and over 14,867 children in other satellite centers across the country,” the Palace said in a statement.

“We all know that Christmas is really about the children. And we always have a Merry Christmas when the children have a good Christmas,” Mr. Marcos said in a speech.

As the country’s leader, Mr. Marcos needs to address severe malnutrition issues with one in every three Filipino children below the age of five suffering from stunting.

The country ranked fifth among countries in the East Asia and the Pacific region and was on the list of ten countries in the world with the highest prevalence of child stunting, the National Nutrition Council said last year, citing World Health Organization data. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza