Press Release
April 6, 2010


SENATOR Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. joined in celebrating 2010 World Health Day's "1000 cities - 1000 lives" as he expressed commitment in protecting the people's right to health by pushing for health modernization in public schools which will benefit elementary and high school students.

In celebrating World Health Day on April 7 to 11, the organizers are taking health awareness in the cities by asking local officials to open up public spaces to encourage exercise, like walking and cycling.

Bong Revilla said WHO's theme mobilizes the local leaders in taking charge of improving the physical well-being of their constituents by giving better access to health and nutrition and providing facilities for physical activities.

The senator said he will take part in promoting healthy lifestyle to every Filipino by re-filing Senate Bill 789, if elected for another term in the Senate. It aims to inculcate health and nutrition values among the children. He initially filed the same during the 14th Congress.

The said proposed bill, according to the senator, will maintain supplementary feeding programs for nutritionally deprived children.

Recently, the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted a school health program to address malnutrition and poor academic performance of pupils by giving food subsidy.

The short-term program, which each child will be given a ration of one kilo of rice at the end of class, lasted for five months.

"Through this program, the government was successful in mitigating hunger, improving nutritional status of the children and improving school attendance and academic performance of the young learners. Project, such as this, should be maintained," Bong Revilla said.

If enacted into law, the government shall allocate P200 million to give full support to school health and nutrition projects, to modernize school health and nutrition program and to provide medical and dental equipment and medicines.

The same fund will also be used for health and sanitation facilities like school clinics, canteens, water supply, sanitation toilets and garbage disposal in schools.

In filing the bill, the senator believed that access to health care and services are not just basic needs but also the rights of every Filipino - especially the children.

Bong Revilla is especially concerned with the learning capacities of the children, who have health problems. He cited a 1995 study where it found out that low pupil school attendance equated to poor health and nutrition facilities.

"We give emphasis to improving school facilities, providing new equipment and technology, and upgrading teachers' competencies and teaching materials, but we will fail in attaining quality basic education if the child is handicapped and his potential learning is low," the senator concluded.

Aside from SB 789, Bong Revilla also filed other bills concerning promotion of health care and services, including bills that provide for the modernization of the health delivery system in the country's 41,000 barangays; upgrading the benefits and incentives to barangay health workers; and giving health insurance coverage for barangay tanods.

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