Press Release
October 22, 2010


Senator Bong Revilla expressed elation over the latest SWS survey showing that fewer Filipinos claim to have experienced hunger or feel poor.

The senator referred to a September 2010 SWS poll, which was released on October 18, showing a decline in overall hunger throughout the country. The greatest decrease was registered in Mindanao which dropped from 26% to 16.3% (700,000 families). The Visayas saw an almost six-point dip to 15.3% (580,000 families), in Luzon it was down almost four points to 14.7% (1.2 million families), while Metro Manila trimmed its ratio by nearly two points to 20.3% (507,000 families).

Though hunger rates remain high and much work still has to be done with regards to reducing the prevalence of poverty, Sen. Bong Revilla says it is worth noting that less Filipinos claim to have experienced hunger and perceive themselves as poor. "In developing countries like the Philippines , public perception is a good indicator of the country's economy. Hunger reduction is a prerequisite for development and poverty reduction. I am optimistic that with this development coupled with good governance and new laws that would provide direct basic services to the people, we will be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015".

Nevertheless, he said, this positive news should not stop us from creating programs that will alleviate the social and health conditions of the poor.

Aligned with the recent survey results and with the Constitution's mandate of promoting the right to health of the people and instilling health consciousness among them, the lawmaker pushed his bill which aims to address the malnutrition problem. Malnutrition afflicts the vulnerable groups particularly preschool, school children, pregnant women and lactating mothers and other contributory factors that affect the health and nutrition condition of the community as whole.

The senator cited SBN 2397 strengthening the Barangay Nutrition Program by providing for the creation of one mandatory position of Barangay Nutrition Worker (BNW) in every barangay.

The barangay nutrition worker, who shall be recruited from within the barangay, shall be responsible for delivering nutrition services and other related activities such as community health, backyard food production, environmental sanitation, culture, supplemental feeding and family planning to the barangay. "Having a BNW would link communities with nutrition and related service providers" Bong Revilla stated.

Also under the bill, there shall be created a staff secretariat in every province/city which shall monitor the progress of the program, identify its problems and recommend possible solutions thereto.

"The magnitude of the malnutrition problem in the country urgently needs greater involvement and participation of the people at the grassroots level." Bong Revilla ended.

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