Malnutrition is worsening, warns Legarda
The Philippines’ chronic malnutrition rate has increased from 30.3 percent in 2013 to 33.5 percent in 2015, Senator Loren Legarda said.
Legarda, citing the latest Food and Nutrition Research Institute data, said government must do something because malnutrition is the basic cause of children’s diseases.
“Undernourishment is largely preventable especially with early and effective interventions,” she said.
Legarda also said a study by the international organization Save The Children showed that one in three Filipino children suffers from stunting.
She said nutrition programs should be community-based and should involve the schools.
For her part, Legarda said she will re-file the Child Nutrition bill, which aims to implement complementary feeding program and other nutrition-related activities in schools and barangay day care centers; the Gulayan sa Paaralan bill, which encourages 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.
She said she will also re-file the Malunggay Development, which seeks to widen 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,” she added.