Press Release
December 20, 2018

Hontiveros hails enactment of Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act: "A perfect Christmas gift to mothers and infants"

Senator Risa Hontiveros today hailed the enactment of a law introducing health programs for mothers and infants during a child's first 1,000 days as the "perfect holiday gift" for Filipino families, saying that the law must be implemented in full to help end infant malnutrition in the country.

The Akbayan senator, who sponsored and co-author the measure, hailed lawmakers and private sector advocates for the successful passage of Republic Act 11148 or the 'Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act,' which will provide much-needed protection to mothers and children from malnutrition - which has life-long and even life-threatening consequences.

"I am elated over the support of my colleagues which led to the swift passage of this health measure that we can give Filipino mothers and our children. It is heartening to see our national leaders stand as one in the cause of promoting healthy nanays, healthy bulilits and a healthy citizenry," Hontiveros said.

"Since Christmas revolves around the story of the infant Jesus, the new law is the best holiday gift that we can give Filipino mothers and their children so that they may live healthy, fulfilled and meaningful lives with their loved ones," she added.

Along with Hontiveros, who chairs the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, the measure was co-sponsored by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Sonny Angara, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Bam Aquino IV, JV Ejercito, Loren Legarda and Grace Poe, with inputs from Senator Cynthia Villar. At the House of Representatives, the measure was authored and sponsored by Quezon City 4th District Representative Angelina Tan.

The new law primarily mandates the establishment of a comprehensive nutrition intervention program to be implemented by the Department of Health and the National Nutrition Council for the benefit of infants during their first 1,000 days of life, as well as their mothers and other "nutritionally-at-risk" individuals like pregnant women, lactating women or teenage mothers. The said program includes a wide range of services, ranging from nutrition counselling, consultations on various health issues, psycho-social support for mothers, oral health and lactation management services, to social-welfare support for economically-challenged families and home visits for families in far-flung places.

Hontiveros said that the challenge now is to ensure that RA 11148 will be immediately and effectively implemented, and that ample funding will be provided by government to support the many reforms the law introduces.

"I call on government to build upon this achievement by giving this law the funding, attention and resources it requires. The state must be true to its mandate and promise of protecting mothers and their young children, whose development will determine the future of our nation," she said.

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