/ 13 June 2021

CHILDREN’S rights advocates actress Liza Soberano and beauty queen Katarina Rodriguez call for public support to free some 3.6 million Filipino children aged 5 and below from stunting.

The appeal of the two Save the Children Philippines ambassadors came as one out of three Filipino children is stunted, while the country ranks ninth in the world for having the most stunted children or those who are shorter in height for their age.

“It is heartbreaking that a lot of Filipino children are still left behind and are struggling to survive due to malnutrition,” said Rodriguez.

“The plights of these malnourished children are exacerbated by the current health crisis, but we drive inspiration that if we work together with everyone’s support, including civil society organizations, communities, the government, and the private sector, we will be able to provide a healthy future for the most affected and marginalized children.”

Save the Children Philippines’ Health and Nutrition Advisor Dr. Amado Parawan explained stunting is a silent emergency and caused by prolonged or chronic undernutrition that starts even before or during pregnancy.

“It delays both body and brain development which may affect children’s school performance in the long run,” he added.

Soberano and Rodriguez are currently leading a fundraising campaign called ‘Hope for their Future’ in an effort to help eradicate malnutrition in the country,

Soberano shared that every donation in support of the project will allow Save the Children Philippines to monitor the nutritional status of young children especially the first two years of a child’s life which is considered a critical window of opportunity for their growth and development.

The initiative is likewise knocking at the hearts of Filipino migrants and overseas Filipino workers who play an important role in nation-building and creating immediate and lasting change in children’s lives.

The child rights organization also recalled the invaluable efforts of Save the Children’s founder Eglantyne Jebb to free millions of children from starving to death during World War I.

Hence, in the last 40 years, Save the Children Philippines made sure to be at the forefront of ending malnutrition in the country and successfully advocated for the enactment of Republic Act 11148 or the First 1,000 days law, in 2018, which ensures care for pregnant women and their child, from the start of the pregnancy to the child’s first two years of life.

“Good nutrition starts at pregnancy. After all, what the mother eats, the child receives. By providing adequate access to health and nutrition services, we will be able to reduce the cases of malnutrition and save millions of lives,” said Save the Children Philippines Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot.

Hope for their Future will be supporting Save the Children Philippines’ Project NURTURE which implements multi-sectoral nutrition programs and interventions to prevent cases of stunting among children, and provides guidance and support to parents, communities, and local government units.

“Through Hope for their Future, we hope to liberate malnourished children from the long-lasting impacts of malnutrition. Help us change the narrative of these vulnerable children by sending your donation at Your generosity and act of kindness can be life-saving,” appealed Soberano.