MANILA – As the country commemorates Nutrition Month this coming July, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office chairman Junie E. Cua on Monday urged the public to lend a hand in raising more resources to fight malnutrition in the country.
In a statement, Cua pointed out that the PCSO annually holds a sweepstakes draw specifically to support nutrition programs.
Republic Act 4621, which was enacted in June 1965, mandates the PCSO to hold an annual special sweepstakes for the benefit of the Nutrition Foundation of the Philippines (NFP).
The law states that the whole proceeds of special sweepstakes horse race, after deducting the payment of the prizes and expenses, shall be turned over to the NFP, “for the support of its projects and programs in nutrition and the maintenance of its technical and administrative staffs including salaries, wages, travelling expenses, per diems, equipment, materials, supplies and all others that are essential to the needs of its services.”
The NFP was founded on Dec. 28, 1959, and officially began operations as the first private, non-stock, non-profit organization engaged in community nutrition on July 15, 1960.
“Malaki ang maitutulong ng mga kababayan natin sa pagpapalaki ng maaari nating iambag sa laban kontra malnutrisyon sa bansa (Our countrymen can greatly help in raising the amount that we contribute in the fight against malnutrition)," Cua said, as he highlighted the need for the country to seriously address the issue of malnutrition.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), 95 Filipino children die every day from malnutrition, while 27 out of 1,000 do not get past their fifth birthday.
The World Bank, meanwhile, noted that undernutrition continues to persist in the country for nearly 30 years now. It added that one in every three Filipino children below 5 years old suffer from stunting.
"In our small way, we hope to be able to complement the Marcos administration's efforts to combat malnutrition. Inaanyayahan natin ang ating mga kababayan na lumahok sa special sweepstakes for nutrition para kayo'y makatulong rin (We are inviting our countrymen to join in the special sweepstakes for nutrition for you to also help in the effort)," Cua said.
He said the agency will inform the public through its communication channels, including on social media, about the special draw.
President Decree 491 was signed in 1974 designating July as Nutrition Month to create greater awareness on the importance of nutrition among Filipinos. (PNA)