Press Release
March 1, 2018


A proposed measure that aims to scale up nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life, and to establish a maternal and child health care program throughout the country was approved by the Senate on second reading on Wednesday.

Senate plenary Committee Report No. 145 or the "Healthy Bulilit Act", sponsored by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros, has identified a child's first 1,000 days as a "golden window" for development, with effects ranging from the potential to prevent stunted growth and the opportunity to improve cognitive development.

Hontiveros highlighted that investment in good nutrition during the critical 1,000 days from pregnancy to a child's second birthday is crucial to developing a child's cognitive capacity and physical growth.

"I am happy with the Senate's swift action on this important measure. We are now one step closer to scaling up nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life, and ensuring that the fight against malnutrition will be a priority of both the national and the local government," Hontiveros said.

This is our strong commitment to and investment in building a bright future for our people. By ensuring that we have healthy nanays who will give birth to healthy bulilits, the country is assured of future healthy Pinoys and Pinays who will become productive members of society" Hontiveros added.

Hontiveros, who is also the Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said that despite global efforts to reduce hunger and malnutrition, undernutrition remains to be among the leading cause of death of children with more than 2.6 million deaths annually.

The senator cited numerous studies showing that poor nutrition makes children vulnerable to common diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria. These studies, Hontiveros explained, confirm that the early years of life are the crucial period of mental and physical development; malnutrition at this critical junction creates irreversible damage to children.

The Senator also pointed out that undernourished mothers are more likely to suffer difficult pregnancies and give birth to undernourished children themselves. They are also vulnerable to increased risk of death or giving birth to a pre-term, underweight or malnourished infant. "Poor nutrition harms our children and their mothers. It can impede economic growth and it can extend the cycle of poverty," Hontiveros said.

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