• Hunger stalks one of 10 Filipino families

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    Newly elected Sen. Grace Poe-LLamanzares (center) signs a petition after delivering her key note message at the Hunger Summit 2013 held at the Philippine International Convention Center. The senator talked about the need of proper nutrition for children. PHOTO BY ALEXIS CORPUZ

    HUNGER has in its clutches one of every10 households in the Philippines—these families representing 1 percent of the Filipino population do not have enough money to buy food.

    Too, seven of every 10 households are lacking in food energy needs, rendering them weak to tackle the workaday tasks of life.

    Mourn these facts that struck a raw nerve at the National Nutrition Council-sponsored first Hunger Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center on Wednesday.

    In his State of Hunger and Nutrition Address, Deputy Director General Emmanuel Esguerra from the National Economic and Development Planning (NEDA) cited that “food poverty which is at 10 percent means that one in every 10 households is food poor or do not have enough money to buy food that they need to feed a family of five,” adding that “seven out of every 10 household do not meet their energy requirements for food.”

    This, according to the NEDA official, can affect economic growth and causes impaired development among malnourished children throughout the country. He also said that those who are in “construction, agriculture, mining and self-employed” labor are the ones who experience hunger and malnourishment the most.

    The Hunger Summit was also attended by Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who is a “firm believer” of summits, said that the government must adapt a “zero tolerance” in malnutrition, especially children who needs nutrition for better development.

    According to Llamanzares, malnutrition in children is “irreversible and causes inferior intellectual and physical development,” which is why she is pushing for her first filed bill, Senate Bill 79 which aims to provide a “Free Lunch Program” for public schools to provide better nutrition for children in a five to six year period.

    Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay also graced the event, who talked about climate change and how it affects nutrition supply in the country. Since the marine industry is affected by climate change, the governor said that “60 percent of the catch potential is lost,” therefore depleting the source of fish protein that could help in food supply and malnutrition.

    The event was highlighted by the signing of the Declaration to End Hunger and Malnutrition in the Philippines headed by Llamanzares, which calls on all sectors of society to work together in eradicating hunger and malnutrition in the country.

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