Press Release
July 30, 2015


Stressing the importance of a child's first 1,000 days, Senator Sonny Angara has led the signing of the declaration of commitment and support for the passage of bills ensuring a child's right to health, proper care and nutrition.

"The first 1,000 days--the so-called window of opportunity--is the foundation of a child's life. It can determine the future productivity of our citizenry and ultimately, our nation's development," said Angara, vice chairperson of the Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development Foundation (PLCPD), during Wednesday's policy forum on first 1,000 days.

Angara cited PLCPD's policy brief which states that getting proper nutrition in the first 1,000 days can prevent more than one-third of child deaths per year; improve school attainment by at least one year; increase wages by five to 50 percent; reduce poverty because well-nourished children are 33 percent more likely to escape poverty as adults; empower women to be 10 percent more likely to run their own business and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

However, representatives from Unicef Philippines, who attended the policy forum, highlighted the prevalence of stunting in the country wherein one in every three Filipino children is stunted.

The Unicef further pointed out that stunting can lead to a child's impaired physical and mental development and can contribute to as much as 3-percentage points in gross domestic product losses.

To achieve optimal maternal and child nutrition, there must be adequate nutrition and care during pregnancy; support for exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life; complementary feeding of adequate safe and nutritious food with continued breastfeeding; and, micronutrient supplementation for women and children.

Sen. Grace Poe, author of the First 1,000 Days bill, commended Angara for spearheading the policy forum and stressed the vital role of fathers in promoting maternal and child nutrition.

"When we talk about food and nutrition security, we also touch on issues of social justice and inequality. For instance, deaths among children below 5 years of age remain highest in the poorest sectors of society, in rural areas, and among families with low educational status," said Angara, who filed a resolution to look into the unchanging patterns of undernutrition in the country and to find ways on how to improve Filipinos' nutritional well-being.

The lawmaker has also called for an improved coordination among the more than 20 government agencies directly or indirectly mandated to ensure that nutritious food is accessible to the Filipino people.

"If there's a window of opportunity for the child, there's also a window of opportunity for the senators to pursue advocacy and pass this very meaningful legislation that will ensure the right start to life of our children that will enable them to reach their full potential," Angara said.

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