Sen. Imee Marcos on Sunday called for the revival of the Nutribun Feeding Program implemented during the administration of her late father, saying it should complement ongoing government programs to address undernutrition among children.
Marcos led the simultaneous pilot testing of the Nutribun Feeding Program on Sunday in Rizal, Cebu, and Ilocos Norte, where some 1,000 children aged three to five years old in each province received packs of the bread made with squash, malunggay, and other high-nutrient crops.
The senator's initiative to revive the USAID-funded nutrition program came during the 105th birth anniversary of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
“We must restore the Nutribun Feeding Program’s place as a viable solution to undernutrition among children. It can’t remain an intermittent and sporadic advocacy,” she said.
Marcos cited the 2021 World Bank report saying that there have been "almost no improvements in the prevalence of undernutrition in the Philippines” in the past 30 years.
It added that the Philippines ranked fifth in the East Asia and Pacific Region with the highest prevalence of stunting and is one of the 10 countries in the world with the highest number of stunted children.
“There’s no more time to lose if the next generations of Filipino children are to be healthy in body and mind, and ultimately productive as grown-up citizens,” Marcos said.
Apart from the distribution of the fortified Nutribun, Marcos said her office and all the government workers involved will monitor the children's weight and overall state of health in the next 120 days.