APRIL 27, 2014

NR # 3449B

Mandatory National Child Nutrition Program pushed
Worried about the growing prevalence of malnutrition among Filipino children, a lady-lawmaker urges the enactment of the “National Child Nutrition Law of !"#$% “&ur nation's children are definitely our country's future leaders$ (hus, their )uality nutrition needs to be ensured by the *tate to provide the best opportunities at developing the potentials of the present and future generations of children,% +ep$ ,uliette ($ -y . nd /istrict, 0isamis &riental1, author of 23 "456, declared$ 23 "456 is entitled “7n 7ct providing for a mandatory National Child Nutrition 8rogram in all public elementary schools and 3arangay /ay Care Centers$% +ep$ -y e9pressed her delight knowing that her pet measure is one among various vital bills referred to and under study by a technical working group .(W:1 formed by the 2ouse Committee on 3asic ;ducation chaired by +ep$ <imi Co=uangco .4 th /istrict, 8angasinan1$ *he added that appropriate )uality nutrition is integral to children's total development and the overall development of the nation$ 7mong others, the program includes> a1 complementary feeding to ensure access to food supplements which will improve nutritional status via micronutrient supplementation, weighing and growth monitoring, deworming, and emergency feeding during and after disaster? and b1 dietary diversification@backyard gardening to assure availability of nutritious food in the local areas$ (he funds for the establishment, maintenance and operation of the mandatory program shall be sourced from ten ."!1 percent of the recorded income of the general fund accruing from interest on deposit accounts and performance bonds and any forfeited amounts therefrom$ (o e9plain her point, +ep$ -y cited ;9ecutive &rder No$ " 6 which mandates the /epartment of *cience and (echnology's Food and Nutrition +esearch Anstitute ./&*(F2+A1 to conduct surveys every five years on the nutritional status of the population$ (he resultant !!6 nutrition survey showed that> "1 the number of Filipino children who were underweight and under-height increased from !!4 to !!6? 1 the prevalence of underweight children aged !-4 years increased from 5$B percent to B$ percent .about #$#4 million children1? #1 (he under-height rate increased from B$# percent to C$D percent .#$4C million

children1? and 51 the prevalence of underweight children aged B-"! years increased from $6 percent in !!4 to 4$B percent in !!6 . $B million children1$ (he number of underheight children in this age group likewise increased from # percent to ##$" percent$ 3ased on the survey, the author revealed a high prevalence of under-height-for-age or stunted pre-schoolers in 0A07+&87, 3icol, and all the regions in the Eisayas and 0indanao$ (he survey also showed that a very high level of acute malnutrition among preschoolers .aged !-41 was noted in 0A07+&87, 3icol, Western Eisayas, ;astern Eisayas, Famboanga 8eninsula and *&C<*7+:;N where the underweight-for-age prevalence was at least #! percent$ Chronic malnutrition affects a very high percentage of pre-schoolers in the provinces of 0asbate, 3iliran, Northern *amar, Western *amar, Famboanga *ibugay, *arangani, 7bra and 0ountain 8rovince$ *he added that the regions with very high prevalence of stunted schoolchildren were 0A07+&87, ;astern Eisayas, Famboanga 8eninsula, Northern 0indanao and *&C<*7+:;N$ “Children going to school on an empty stomach is a sorry reality of the grinding poverty besetting most Filipinos, especially in the provinces,% +ep$ -y lamented$ .#!1 dpt

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