The month of July of every year marks the observance of nutrition month by virtue of Presidential Decree 491 to create awareness on the importance of nutrition.
AGHAM Party-List Rep. Angelo B. Palmones filed House Bill 2889 or “Strengthening the Barangay Nutrition Scholar Program (BNSP), Providing Incentives Thereto, Appropriating Funds Therefor Amending for the Purpose P.D. No. 1569)” to address the problem of prevailing malnutrition in the country through the creation of mandatory position for barangay nutrition scholars.
The bill signifies and highlights the observance of Nutrition month in July embodied in Presidential Decree 491.
Palmones said that the country’s vision for a healthy and strong Filipino nation, free from hunger and malnutrition presents a big challenge to the government and the concerned health agencies considering the ballooning population and meager resources.
“It requires not only strong commitment and dedication, but also creativity and innovative approach to meet the challenge of coping with malnutrition of the less privileged members of society. The extension work being rendered by the barangay nutrition scholars is a big help in our battle against malnutrition,” Palmones added.
Results of the 7th National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in 2008 showed a significant increase in the proportion of children aged 0-5 years old who were underweight (24.6% in 2005 to 26.2% in 2008) and under height (26.3% to 27.9%).
On the other hand, for 6-10 years old, the report also showed a significant increase in the prevalence of underweight from 22.8% in 2005 to 25.6% in 2008.
Furthermore, the survey report said that a very high magnitude of acute malnutrition among pre-schoolers was noted in six regions, namely: MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and SOCCSKSARGEN.
The National Nutrition Survey is conducted every five years by FNRI to generate data on Philippine food, nutrition and health situation which serves as basis for decision-making of both government and non-government institutions. Ester Gallardo, PSciJourn MegaManila