Press Release
July 31, 2013


Senator Grace Poe today urged the private sector to support her measure seeking to give free and nutritious meals to students, saying that the private sector can be an effective partner of the government in fighting hunger and malnutrition.

"I would like to encourage all of you in the private sector to support and participate in this program. You can do this through your respective corporate social responsibility activities, or through simple donations to public schools," Poe told members of the Philippine Life Insurance Association during the group's 63rd anniversary in Makati Shangri-La on Tuesday.

Poe filed Senate Bill 79 or the proposed Sustansiya sa Batang Pilipino Act. Tax incentives will be given to private entities donating or adopting a school as recipient of the school feeding program. Along with this nourishment drive, a health examination including relevant vaccination and deworming of children will be done before the start of the program. Children found with ailments shall be given proper treatment.

Poe said private sector initiative in supporting government programs is essential, especially in fighting hunger and malnutrition which is tied to literacy.

The government should shift its focus to malnourished children, given the figures cited by the World Health Organization (WHO) and surveys indicating that millions of households have experienced hunger.

"It makes me sad that more than half a million of our children as 'severely wasted' simply because they are not the priority. The angle of vision must be changed. The lens must be re-focused. Priority must be given to getting quality nutrition for our children because malnourished children are prone to diseases," the senator pointed out.

The United Nations has estimated that six million Filipino children are malnourished and around 66 percent under the age of six do not have childcare.

The same report is mirrored in a survey of the Social Weather Station (SWS) for the third quarter of 2012 citing that 21 percent or at least 4.3 million households experienced having nothing to eat in the last three months prior to the survey period.

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