Pangilinan: Goodbye gutom para sa mas matalinong kabataang Pilipino

January 19, 2022

WIPING out hunger will improve the performance of Filipino students in school and later in their workplace, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said Wednesday as he questioned the high prices of food like pork and chicken in the country.

Pangilinan made this statement following the report released by the Department of Agriculture (DA) which showed the connection between poor nutrition and poor school performance among Filipino students.

Based on the study of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which DA cited in its report, students from countries with higher pork and chicken prices tend to have lower test scores.

“Mahihirapang mag-aral nang mabuti ang ating mga kabataan-estudyante at makakuha ng magandang grades kung kulang sila sa nutrisyon, kung kulang sa pagkain, at madalas gutom,” Pangilinan said.

“Paano nga ba magiging maayos ang performance ng ating mga mag-aaral kung napakataas naman ng presyo ng karne at manok na pinagkukunan ng protina na kailangan upang maging malusog ang isang tao?” Pangilinan asked.

According to a study by the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information, protein inadequacy among Filipino youth reach as high as 47%.

This has been a recurring problem, according to Pangilinan, who, in 2019, also issued a similar statement after results of the PISA study showed that among 79 participating countries, Filipino students ranked lowest in reading and second lowest both in mathematics and science.

“Matagal nang ganito ang hinaharap ng ating mga estudyante. Noong 2019, sinabi din ng PISA na ang dahilan kung bakit mababa ang performance natin sa reading, mathematics, at science, ay dahil sa poor nutrition,” Pangilinan said.

“Tatlong taon na ang nakalipas, at parang wala pa ring improvement. Ito ay dahil patuloy pa rin ang pagtaas ng mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng mga Pilipino kasama na ang pagkain. Mas lumala pa ang gutom at malnutrisyon ngayong pandemya,” he added.

One of the solutions that Pangilinan proposes is to focus on food producers and improve the food supply chain which would effectively lower food costs, as in neighboring countries where chicken and pork prices are either half or a third of prices in the Philippines.

“Napag-iwanan tayo dahil iniwan natin ang mga magsasaka natin. Tungkulin nating lahat, gobyerno man o pribadong sektor, ang iangat ang katayuan ng mga nagpapakain sa atin dahil kung gutom ang ating mga magsasaka, gutom din ang karamihan ng Pilipino,” Pangilinan said.

“Kapag binigyan natin sila ng suporta, gaganda ang kanilang ani, dadami ang supply ng pagkain, bababa ang presyo ng pagkain sa palengke. Mawawala na ang gutom. Lahat tayo ay makikinabang,” the senator added. 

×