Ned Olney, Save the Children Philippines Country Director, said: “This
study proves that undernutrition has a cost to all of us. In just a
year, Philippines has lost almost 3 percent of its GDP in terms of
education and productivity costs due to stunting. If we add up health
costs, the likely impact would be an additional 0.05 - 1.6 percent.”
The report shows that stunting is the best predictor of productivity
and income, and that undernutrition is linked to lower human capital.
Children who are stunted in the first two years of life are more
likely to repeat grade levels, drop out of school, delay school entry
and have lower income levels when they enter the workforce.
Olney added: “If stunting rates continue to rise, it would be
difficult for families to break free from poverty. It is the poor and
neglected sectors of society that carry the burden of stunting. Any
investment in reducing childhood undernutrition will reduce suffering
and poverty, and will ultimately stimulate economic growth for all
The report found, however,
that Philippines’ investment in nutrition programs is very low at only
0.52 percent of general government expenditures compared to the global
average allocation of 2.1 percent. Citing the report findings, Save
the Children highlighted the need to invest in nutrition programs
during the child’s first 1000 days, from pregnancy up to the second
birthday, which is considered a critical period of care to avert
Olney said: “Nutrition is
the cornerstone of all development efforts. This new report tells us
that for every US$1 spent on programs to avert stunting in children
below 2 years old, the Philippines could save over 100 US dollars in
health, education, and lost productivity costs.”
“It should outrage us that
95 children will die every day because of malnutrition.”
Save the Children is raising
the alarm on the nutrition crisis, and is calling the national and
local government, private sector and the donors to end the appalling
state of malnutrition in the Philippines:
• Support the “First 1000
Days Bill” to enhance the delivery of quality nutrition interventions
in the first 1000 days of a child’s life to prevent stunting among
• Push and sustain equitable
nutrition policies and programs and ensure budgetary allocations that
address the immediate, underlying and basic causes of malnutrition.
• Ensure security of tenure
and sustained training of the community front-liners e.g. such as
barangay health workers and nutrition officers and scholars. Health
and nutrition workers are highly politicized, lack incentives and
support for trainings, have no security of tenure.
• National and local
governments provide clear and separate budget for nutrition-specific
interventions to avoid confusion between health and nutrition budgets.
• Intensify health and
nutrition-related training, research and extension support activities
to support the First 1000 Days Program through the Barangay Integrated
Development Approach for Nutrition Improvement (BIDANI) Network
Program of the Rural Poor and other relevant approaches, thereby
strengthening delivery systems in partnership with the LGUs.
• Scale up cost-effective
and affordable high-impact nutrition interventions to prevent
undernutrition that cripples the country, such as promotion of
exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, vitamin A and iron
supplementation, treatment of acute malnutrition and maternal
• Strengthen enforcement of
the Milk Code (Executive Order Number 51), and the Expanded
Breastfeeding Promotion Act (Republic Act Number 10028) to protect,
promote, and support optimal infant and young child feeding, both in
private and public facilities and spaces.
• We call for the strict and
sustained implementation of nutrition-specific interventions,
including infant and young child feeding (IYCF), micronutrient
supplementation and the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM),
which is now required to be implemented nationwide.
• Revise conditionalities
under the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to
include mandatory breastfeeding and education sessions on infant and
young child feeding.
• Align health and nutrition
programs to the priorities and directions of the Philippine Plan of
Action for Nutrition and the Strategy for Women, Infant, and Young
• Increase the focus on
water, hygiene and sanitation interventions for children by targeting
child-related behaviors and risk factors, such as safe disposal of
human waste, complementary food hygiene and handwashing and
intensifying promotion of Philippine Approach to Total Sanitation (PhATS)
program to reinvigorate our country’s progress towards the national
goals of eliminating open defecation.
Children of War
June 24, 2016
QUEZON CITY – They
are children of war, victims of a war their innocent minds cannot
comprehend. But they know injustice has been to done their parents who
did nothing wrong by helping the farmers, the workers, the poor.
Even adults cannot
comprehend why launching a fight against the causes of poverty and
unrest is a crime. And why one should be jailed for one's political
Angel Lorenzo, 8 years old,
studies at the Children of God Learning Academy; a child seemingly
forsaken by man's folly.
She remembers when the bad
guys came along, took her mother and left her with her one year old
sister and their “yaya” to complete strangers. How she cried and cried
together with her sister. Their “yaya”, terrified and confused, would
not know how to console them. They cried and cried until their
grandmother arrived to take them.
That day, July 20, 2015,
Joyce Latayan, 39, Angel's mother, has just arrived home after picking
her up from school. She noticed two men in civilian clothes inside
their compound. Then she saw other plain- clothes men went up the
second floor of their house. They later came down with bags and a box
of weapons, items which do not belong to Angel's family. They
identified themselves as members of the Criminal and Investigation
Detection Group (CIDG).
The men whisked Joyce away
on the basis of a highly questionable and faulty search warrant issued
from the Cabanatuan City Regional Trial Court and the box of weapons
they were carrying. She was charged with trumped up cases of illegal
possession of firearms and explosives, which were later dismissed by
the Prosecutor's Office in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan where they
At about the same time,
Angelika's father, Ernesto Lorenzo, 59, was nabbed at the IT Center in
Gilmore, Quezon City, by joint elements of the CIDG and members of the
military intelligence group.
Lorenzo is a peace
consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines with
JASIG ID No. ND978229 under the assumed name of "Lean Martinez".
Lorenzo's arrest was based on a warrant for destructive arson filed in
2010 in Lucena City. He was among the activists and leaders of
people's organizations in Southern Tagalog falsely charged with
criminal offenses by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's Inter-Agency
Legal Action Group (IALAG). In 2007, UN Special Rapporteur on
extrajudicial killings Prof. Philip Alston had strongly recommended
abolition of the IALAG and a stop to the practice of filing fabricated
charges against activists.
Lorenzo was a youth leader
of the Methodist Youth Fellowship and had been a long time pastor of
the United Methodist Church after his studies. Later he engaged in
organizing work in the peasant communities and in socio-economic and
development work among urban poor and workers. He is currently
detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s Special
Intensive Care Area (BJMP-SICA) at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
mabuti. (Be good, study well)." This is Kennedy Bangibang's perennial
advice to his only son, Diwin Jude Kenn Monte Bangibang, 8 years old,
whenever he visits him in the confines of the Bureau of Jail
Management and Penology in Tabuk, Kalinga, Cordillera.
A full-blooded Igorot who
hails from a remote village in Cordillera, Kennedy was witness to the
plunder of foreign corporations on their ancestral land and natural
As a student activist in
1987, he had immersed with the peasant masses. He later became a
full-time activist and revolutionary leader. He was illegally arrested
on February 23, 1913 [sic] by elements of the RIU-14 of the Philippine
National Police-Intelligence Group while on board a bus at a PNP
checkpoint in Bangao Proper, Buguias, Benguet. Kennedy is a consultant
of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on Cordillera
Affairs. His arrest is a blow to the national minorities as their
concern is among the issues to be tackled in the next agenda of the
peace talks – the drafting of a Comprehensive Agreement on
Socio-Economic Reform (CASER).
Victim of a justice system
that grinds exceedingly slow, Kennedy has been languishing in jail for
the past three years and his case being transferred from one court to
another, from Kalinga to Baguio.
While Angel would bubbly
narrate the happy moments with his father as they frolic on the beach
of Pangasinan, where he used to work, Diwin would just matter-of-fact
share memories of his Papa and Mama – the walks in the parks, the
visits to the malls and the one time they went swimming in the
underground river of Palawan.
Diwin's Mama, Recca Noelle Monte, was a New People's Army (NPA)
fighter, who was killed during a military operation of the 41st
Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army on
September 4 and 5, 2014 at Guinginabang, Lacub, Abra. She was unarmed
and bore no gunshot wound indicating from the looks of her remains
that she was tortured while held captive, a clear violation of the
International Humanitarian Law.
Diwin could tell the state of his Mama's remains without batting an
eyelid – the traumatic injuries, crushed skull, unidentifiable face,
broken leg bones. Asked if he actually saw this, he said only from the
picture. The handsome, smooth pinkish face of the boy showed no
emotion, but admitted he is sad and lonely.
Angel was loquacious and confident as she told her stories. Her mother
said she regained her composure with the psycho-social counselling she
underwent after the trauma from her experience.
Asked about her father's work, Angel quipped, "Natulong sa farmers at
workers (helps farmers and workers)". Diwin has a similar impression
of his parents work, "they were helping the farmers and the poor."
What do the children of war aspire to be when they grow up? Angel said
she will be a heart surgeon to help the sick. Meanwhile, Diwin wants
to be a lawyer, "so I could defend Papa and Mama. I could free Papa
and give them justice."
climate action on 10th year of “An Inconvenient Truth”
By Climate Reality Project
May 24, 2016
CEBU CITY –
Commemorating the 10th anniversary of Academy award-winning film “An
Inconvenient Truth”, environment groups and climate vulnerable
communities gathered in Cebu to call for the cancellation of approved
coal-fired power plants proposals and just transition to renewable and
cleaner energy source.
The Climate Reality Project
Philippines in cooperation with the Office of Senator Loren Legarda,
Dakila, Greenpeace, Pusyon Kinaiyahan, Foundation for the Philippine
Environment and the University of San Jose de Recoletos organized an
exclusive screening of An Inconvenient Truth and a multi-sectoral
dialogue with students, the religious, and representatives from
coal-fired power plant-affected communities in cities of Naga, Toledo
and Cebu especially that of barangays Sawang Calero and Pasil.
When former Vice President
Al Gore and Participant Media released An Inconvenient Truth in 2006,
the effect was immediate and profound: people everywhere began talking
about the climate crisis – to their friends, their family, and
everyone in their lives – sparking a new kind of movement with
millions demanding action all across the planet.
For so many of us, An
Inconvenient Truth was a wakeup call. It was the moment we understood
the reality of the climate crisis devastating our planet – and it was
the moment we knew we personally had to do something. May 24 marks the
10-year anniversary of the film's release, and we want to acknowledge
and thank you for the critical role you've played in making it a
In 2006, An Inconvenient
Truth inspired millions around the world to speak up about the climate
crisis. Since then, we’ve made progress on many fronts. Just last
December, 195 countries created the historic Paris Agreement to cut
global warming pollution and accelerate the shift to clean energy.
This was a turning point but there’s still tremendous work ahead.
This is the challenge of our
time. Our work to solve the climate crisis could not be more urgent or
important. But today momentum is with us, and together we can solve
Quotes from key speakers:
Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and
former US Vice President; and Chairperson of The Climate Reality
Project (Video Message) -
When we released the “An
Inconvenient Truth” in 2006, I knew we had an important message to
share. But what I couldn’t have known was that the countless people
like you would hear that message and begin talking about the urgency
of the climate crisis in persuasive ways – to their friends, their
families, and their communities – and then, together, we would spark a
new kind of movement with millions of people calling for climate
action around the world.
So as we take a moment to
celebrate the 10-year anniversary of An Inconvenient Truth, I just
wanted to say “Thank You”. Thank you for finding the moral courage to
stand up, even when it wasn’t easy, for taking action to protect our
only home, and thank you for making a difference. We’ve made a lot of
progress together. Just think, last year, 195 nations reach the
historic Paris Agreement to cut global warming pollution and
accelerate the shift to clean energy, a true turning point, but
there’s still tremendous work ahead. And that’s why I’ll be working
with the Climate Reality Project to ensure that countries not only
stick to their commitments but make those commitments even stronger in
the years ahead. And I’m counting on you to continue helping to meet
that challenge, the challenge of our time.
Our work to solve the
climate crisis couldn’t possibly be more urgent or important. But now
the momentum is on our side. I know we can solve the climate crisis.
And I know that thanks to you we will.
Senator Loren Legarda,
Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change (Keynote
A lot has changed since that
year when An Inconvenient Truth was launched, especially on how we
perceive the climate change phenomenon. People now have a better
understanding of the climate crisis and how it is linked to our
survival. An Inconvenient Truth continues to ignite climate action.
As a developing nation, it
is understandable that the Philippines needs more power, but it cannot
be “we need power at all costs and we will develop at all costs.”
They say that coal is cheap.
I say, coal is not cheap. Coal affects our health, kills biodiversity
and the environment, affects our waters and pollutes the air we
We are a country rich in
renewable energy – the amount of sun and wind is more than enough to
power our entire country many times over.
There is no reason to
hesitate or delay action on a challenge so compelling, on a threat to
humanity so clear and present. For every second that ticks away is but
a second closer to the next calamity. We must lead the way towards
meaningful change for our children and grandchildren, for all of
humanity, for all species in the world, and for Mother Earth.
Rodne Galicha, Country
Manager of the Climate Reality Project Philippines –
Looking back at the
challenges of the film, we were reminded that our planet has all the
means to make our lives convenient through sustainable utilization of
resources within the carrying capacity nature. However, due to our
excessive search for convenience, the long-term result becomes more
inconvenient for our own species to thrive and others are in danger of
extinction. Solving this biggest crisis the world is facing needs
every individual’s commitment and collective action to shift to a
cleaner and livable future.
The Climate Reality Project
in the Philippines will continue to work with communities and partners
to collectively regain the power of the people to define the future
they want for their children's children and the planet.
Screening the film in Cebu
City after the communities’ triumph against the proposed coal-fired
power plant in Barangay Sawang Calero is both a celebration and a way
to collectively reflect on why we do what we can to combat climate
Brother Jaazeal Jakosalem,
Co-Convener of Pusyon Kinaiyahan –
Since 2006, Al Gore’s
Inconvenient Truth still echoes our planet’s cry. The most vulnerable
communities especially the poor call for justice. We are all impelled
to take drastic action to bring back balance and harmony upon all of
creation. Indeed, the cry of the earth is the cry of the poor. This is
a moral and spiritual issue, the integrity of creation.
Gideon Lasco, Environment
Champion for the Climate Reality Project Philippines –
It remains inconvenient to
live up to the implications of climate change partly because for every
inconvenient truth, there is a convenient falsehood. Today, we hear
politicians talk about “clean coal”, as if the word “clean” before
coal can exorcise the havoc coal and other fossil fuels have wrought
upon our planet (coal plants alone account for 1/3 of global carbon
emissions). Today, we hear people talk about “responsible mining”,
which, while it may indeed be a possibility in the future, detracts
from the fact that mining has been responsible for the environmental
degradation in many areas - from Semirara to Surigao.
But perhaps the most
convenient falsehood of all is the idea that we are too insignificant
to make a difference. Indeed, if there is something we can draw
inspiration from in the past ten years, it is the fact that no effort
is too small not to count in our fight to save the planet.
Reuben Muni, Climate and
Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace –
The film "An Inconvenient
Truth" tells us this truth: there is no such thing as an insignificant
act when it comes to solving the climate crisis. 10 years after Al
Gore released his film in May 2006, this wisdom still remains. Every
battle against coal is therefore a significant battle for the planet.
Cebu is one of the most important battles for climate change in the
Philippines. It is not just the country that is watching but the whole
world. Unfortunately, what happens in Cebu does not stay in Cebu. If
we allow another coal plant to be built in Cebu, then we are sending
signals to the rest of the country that it is okay to build more
Hence, Cebu is one of the
iconic fights against coal of our generation. We owe it to the next
generation to ensure that there are no more coal plants that will be
built in Cebu. This year, the people of Cebu City rejected a proposed
coal plant right in the heart of the city. And this year, we declare
that Cebu will break free from coal and other forms of dirty energy.
Ara Chawdhury, Creative
Director of Dakila’s Cebu Collective –
It is evident with An
Inconvenient Truth what the power of film can be. It can be policy
changing petition forming, mind changing. At its best, mind blowing.
At its worst, mind numbing.
Film is supposed to shake
you, to reel you out of your comfort zones. Advocacy filmmaking for me
fails if it preaches to the choir. We aren’t doing any favor by
creating messages only we want to hear, or by alienating anyone who
does not agree with us.
Presedent Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Scholarship Program
scholar, Samuel Guadalquiver Jr. (extreme left), pose with the
writer, Clariza Estremera (second from left); Municipal Agrarian
Reform Program Officer Romeo Castil (third from left); and his
advisory class. (Jose Alsmith L. Soria)
Destiny: The Samuel
By CLARIZA C. ESTREMERA
May 10, 2016
TACLOBAN CITY –
“There were times when my parents would tell me, I might not be able
to continue my studies next school year because the harvest is low or
the price of copra had gone down. Every time I hear this, the
uncertainty of getting a college degree dreads me. Thus, I applied for
a scholarship to finance my college education.”
These were the recollections
of Samuel Guadalquiver when we visited him before the school year
closed in Quezon Elementary School, where he is teaching for seven
Samuel, or Boboy, to his
family and friends was one of the President Diosdado Macapagal
Agrarian Scholarship Program (PDMASP) recipients in Northern Samar.
His parents, Samuel Sr. and
Amelita, are both agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) so that he
qualified for the said scholarship program.
PDMASP is a four-year
college scholarship offered by DAR to deserving dependents of ARBs
under the Program Beneficiaries Development component of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
“It was only by accident
that I discovered the PDMASP,” Boboy said.
According to him, when he
was in his first year in college at the University of Eastern
Philippines, he applied for the Catarman Educational Scholarship
Program offered by the local government unit so he could continue with
his studies. But he was denied of the said opportunity. Or was it a
blessing in disguise?
When he returned back to
their school, Boboy read an announcement at the bulletin board about a
scholarship program being offered by DAR.
He grabbed the opportunity
and got the slot. Later, he learned that DAR just re-opened its search
to fill-in a vacated slot. Boboy must have been destined to become a
PDMASP scholar to reach his dreams. In 2008, he graduated with a
degree of Bachelor in Elementary Education Major in Social Science.
The third in a brood of nine
(two are now deceased), Boboy is the first to earn a college degree
(the second is sister, Gloria, who was also a PDMASP scholar) in their
family, and one of the handful of professionals in their village,
which is situated in the mountains of Catarman, 27 kilometers away
from the town proper.
He was the only one of the
less than 20 pupils enrolled in grade 1 in 1994 who finished college.
“He was so determined,” his parents said proudly of him.
When I asked why his other
classmates failed to continue their studies, Boboy said, it could
probably be due to lack of motivation. He disclosed that their
teachers rarely report to school then because of the distance. That is
why his parents transferred him to the town proper when he was in
Barangay Quezon is one of
Catarman’s remotest villages. There was no road at that time. People
had to walk 10 kilometers to and from Barangay Polangi by just passing
through a trail. Now, this barangay could already be reached by
motorcycles for P70. Very soon, when concreting of the road is
completed, travel will be much easier and perhaps cheaper.
Boboy, who used to help his
parents in the farm, said determination to escape from poverty pushed
him to strive and find ways to reach his dream.
After graduation he took the
licensure examination for teachers and passed it.
But why did he return to
Barangay Quezon to teach, when there were better opportunities at the
town proper or elsewhere?
Boboy humbly said he wanted
to serve his fellow residents in their community. But to us he
inspires the young and motivates them to take education seriously to
have a better future.
According to Boboy, had he
not taken his studies seriously and without the PDMASP, surely he
would have also remained a farmer until today, carrying heavy loads of
copra and other farm products.
As a teacher, his supervisor
Annie Dulay said, he is a good one, while his pupils described him as
strict when it comes to their lessons.
He taught his students to be
industrious. The once idle surrounding in their school is now planted
to pili nuts and bananas.
Presently, Boboy is planning
to take up masters degree this coming school year.
Looking at him in his
uniform and listening to his story, makes me proud to be part of DAR
which was instrumental in helping this son of ARBs free himself from
the bondage of the soil and find his destiny.