Press Release
September 13, 2015


Recognizing her efforts to eradicate malnutrition among Filipino children, six municipalities in Zamboanga del Sur and Bataan have declared Sen. Grace Poe as their "adopted daughter."

The municipalities of Dumingag, Tigbao, Bayog, Mahayag and Tukuran, all in Zamboanga del Sur, issued resolutions "declaring Sen. Mary Grace Sonora Poe Llamanzares as adopted daughter for her invaluable contribution for Senate Bill No. 79 concerning the fight against hunger and malnutrition among children."

Under SB 79, or the Sustansiya sa Batang Pilipino Act, children enrolled in public kindergarten and elementary schools across the country will be given nutritious meals five days a week for 120 days a year, for the next five years.

The program, which received a P3.2 billion funding this year, is expected to benefit two million malnourished and severely wasted children. It is the first time a feeding initiative will be carried out extensively.

"Nakakataba naman po ng puso ang pag-ampon na ito ng ating mga kababayan sa Zamboanaga del Sur at Bataan. Siguro naman po ay walang magkakaso sa akin tungkol dito?" Poe joked.

"Nakakatuwang isipin na ang mga ginagawa natin sa Senado ay umaabot sa bawat sulok ng Pilipinas. Ito po ang tunay na hangad natin bilang isang public servant," she said.

In July, the municipality of Bagac in Bataan issued a similar resolution recognizing Poe's efforts to "uplift the health of the people" in the country's poorest regions.

Bagac, Bayog and Mahayag are third-class municipalities; Tukuran is fourth-class, Tigbao is fifth-class, and Dumingag second-class--all of which have a significant population of malnourished children that will benefit from the feeding program.

Malnutrition remains a huge challenge in the Philippines despite economic growth in recent years. A UNICEF report revealed that 3.6 million Filipino children aged 0 to 59 months are underweight while four million are stunted.

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