Press Release
January 31, 2017


Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros today called for better infant care during the first 1,000 days of life.

Speaking before a forum at the Senate organized by the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), Hontiveros said that stronger legislation is needed to help address the country's challenges in malnutrition and child hunger.

"This is the real and silent war that the government must embark on - the war against malnutrition. This is the real war that must be won," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros, who is the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said that under-nutrition remains the underlying killer of children as it makes them vulnerable to bout of infections, low birth weights and wasting.

The senator also said that malnutrition undermines economic development. Citing a 2013 report from the Save the Children International, she said that the country's economy lost at least P328 billion or the equal of 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to the impact of childhood stunting on workforce productivity and education.

As a response, Hontiveros penned Senate Bill No. 1145, also known as "The Healthy Bulilit Law." She said that her bill mandates the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to increase nutrition support for all children in the first 1,000 days.

"We are fortunate that we don't struggle with an inverted population pyramid. But malnutrition and child hunger remain significant challenges. Government must do its part and redouble its efforts to secure a bright future for our nation's children," the Senator said.

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