MANILA - Inflation is putting poor children at risk of malnutrition, a children's rights group said Thursday, as it sought the passage of a bill that seeks to provide health and nutrition services for the underprivileged.
In a statement, Save the Children Philippines said the rising prices of goods have "put millions of children at risk of malnutrition as more poor families experience hunger."
"Malnutrition is a silent killer among the children of poor and marginalized families,” Save the Children Philippines CEO Albert Muyot said.
The group pushed for the passage of the "First 1,000 Days" bill, which seeks to provide health and nutrition services to children during their early days of development.
Prices of food staples, including rice, fish and vegetables, have seen new record highs amid quickening inflation and the effects of the monsoon season over the past month.
Save the Children said the Philippines has 3.3 million stunted children and ranks ninth among 10 countries with worst cases of stunting, along with war-stricken countries Nigeria (third), the Democratic Republic of Congo (seventh) and Ethiopia (sixth).
The reconciled version of the bill was approved by the bicameral conference committee last month and is awaiting transmission to the Office of the President.
The city governments of Navotas and Malabon, meanwhile, have enacted their own local laws adopting the bill following the pilot testing of Save the Children Philippines nutrition programs, the group said.