Press Release
August 13, 2006


Senator Edgardo J. Angara today called for a crash feeding program in schools to ease a critical malnutrition problem that affects 6.3 million school children across all regions in the country.

Angara also said the sustained feeding program in schools should be complemented by providing vitamin supplements, medicines, and medical checkups to children, parents and senior citizens.

The office of Angara, in cooperation with private foundations, has been carrying out a sustained child feeding program in schools across the country to help contain what the senator calls "a silent hunger that is a silent killer".

Angara, quoting a National Nutrition Survey done in 2003, said that a total of 2.9 million school children were found underweight while another 3.4 million were growth-stunted.

"The 6.3 million school children come to class listless, unprepared and unenergetic, perhaps ready for only one thing and this is to join the swelling armies of under-performing Filipinos," said Angara.

Angara said that the malnutrition problem, which cuts across all regions, has "brutal and irreparable effects on children and is one of the country's biggest tragedies". "It also dramatizes the miserable state investments on human capital, primarily education and healthcare," added Angara.

School children in depressed areas of Quezon City, Pasay City and Manila were the beneficiaries of a school feeding program carried out by the office of Angara last month. School feeding programs are done with the complementary medical missions.

This month, schools in depressed communities in four other cities of Metro Manila will be covered by the feeding program and the medical missions of Angara's office.

Milk, vitamin-fortified noodles, and juice are the common food items given to children during the feeding program; the medical missions give out vitamin supplements, pain killers, anti-biotics, and cough and colds medicine along with free medical consultation.

Angara plans to sponsor infant immunization in future medical missions.

Angara is also working to pass a law that will institutionalize feeding programs in schools to make the program "a year-round undertaking".

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