Press Release
February 11, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara's advocacy to combat widespread vitamin and mineral deficiency afflicting millions of Filipino schoolchildren has gained multisectoral support following a successful kickoff on Friday at the Manila Polo Club.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Science and Technology are some of the government agencies that have pledged their all-out support for the Oh My Gulay! campaign.

The DA's Bureau of Plant and Industry, DOST's Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the National Nutrition Council were also tapped to help in the implementation of the program.

Businessmen, philanthropists and advocates from the private sector are also backing the OMG! campaign. ABS-CBN, Viva Entertainment, Nestle, Unilever, Wyeth and many other big companies have all joined this program to combat malnutrition.

According to Angara, author of the Children's Health Insurance Bill and the Child Nutrition Act of the Philippines, the success of OMG! to fight hidden hunger hinges on broad multisectoral collaboration.

"There's a way to fight this so-called 'hidden hunger'--by eating vegetables loaded with vitamins and minerals which are vital to school-age children. The key is to get kids involved in planting, growing and harvesting these veggies, whether at home or in school, so they become more eager to eat them," he explained.

"The link between health and academic performance is undeniable. One out of every four Filipino preschool children is malnourished, so it's no wonder that so many kids are doing poorly in school," he lamented.

The OMG! project is a multimedia campaign that will reach the farthest corners of the country. Television commercials, print and online ads will be utilized to popularize growing and eating of vegetables, featuring some of the countries' biggest celebrities today, such as Anne Curtis, Mark Bautista and Sarah Geronimo.

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