Legarda Urges Gov’t to Address Chronic Malnutrition among Filipino Children

July 11, 2016

In observance of the National Nutrition Month, Senator Loren Legarda urged the government to strengthen programs that would address the country’s worsening state of malnutrition.

In making the appeal, Legarda pointed out that the country’s chronic malnutrition rate has increased from 30.3% in 2013 to 33.5 % in 2015 based on latest Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) data. Moreover, a study by the international organization Save The Children showed that 1 in 3 Filipino children suffers from stunting.

“The basic cause of prevalent diseases suffered by children is malnutrition arising primarily from inadequate food intake. Undernourishment is largely preventable especially with early and effective interventions,” she stressed.

“We must tackle malnutrition concerns at grassroots level. Our programs must be community-based and should involve our schools so that the importance of nutrition and health are also inculcated in the minds of our children,” said Legarda.

This 17th Congress, Legarda is set to re-file bills aimed at improving the nutritional status of malnourished children in the Philippines. Among the measures she will file include the Child Nutrition bill, which aims to implement nutrition and health program in schools and barangay day care centers, consisting of complementary feeding program and other nutrition-related activities; the Gulayan sa Paaralan bill, which encourages all public elementary and secondary schools to conduct simultaneous vegetable gardening activities; and the Barangay Nutrition Worker bill, which will create the position of barangay nutrition worker in every barangay.

The Senator will also re-file the Malunggay Development bill to spur the production, processing, marketing and distribution of malunggay in suitable areas of the country in order to acquire its benefits.

“Malunggay is a good source of provitamin A, vitamins B and C, and minerals, such as iron, among others. We need to formulate a sustainable framework for the growing of malunggay in every backyard so we can maximize its health, nutritional and other benefits,” said Legarda.