PICC, Pasay City
9 November 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III underscored the importance of investing in health and proper nutrition for the Filipino children to foster national development when he graced the 2012 National Nutrition Awarding Ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

In his message, President Aquino said that one of the country’s Millennium Development Goals for 2015 is focused on nutrition. He cited the government’s strong advocacy to safeguard the health of every Filipino and the recent report released by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute entitled “Updating of the Nutritional Status of Filipinos.”  The survey revealed that underweight children under five years of age since 1992 to 2011 have decreased from 26.5% to 20.2%. President Aquino hopes to lower the hunger percentage to 13.6% in line with the target MDGs.

He also cited several government programs being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development with non-government organizations and local government units such as the Supplementary Feeding Program and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). The 4Ps includes pre-natal and post-natal care for both mother and child and immunization benefits to children under 6-14 years of age.

“Ang bawat hakbang po na isinasagawa natin ay nakasandig pa rin sa iisang layunin: ang pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng mga Pilipino, at bigyan sila ng mas malawak na pagkakataon sa kaunlaran… Malinaw po sa atin: sila ang mga Juanito at Jaunita dela Cruz na magmamana sa nasimulan na nating laban: sila ang susunod na salinlahing magpapatuloy sa pag-aabot sa inaasam nating mas maginhawang kinabukasan,” he said.

The awarding ceremony recognized 19 local government units and Barangay Nutrition Scholars that exhibited exemplary contributions to alleviate problems of malnutrition in their community. Lina C. Guerrero, a resident of Barangay Conception in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, was crowned as the recipient of the 2011 National Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar (NOBNS) for her innovative projects on nutrition, health, food security, livelihood, rural infrastructure and other development projects, winning her a cash prize worth PhP100,000.

*  *  *