Lawyer and Quezon City District 6 Representative Christopher “Kit” Belmonte believes in the importance of proper nutrition for children.
"Ako, soft ako para sa mga bata.
“Alam kong necessary yung housing, kailangang mag-create ng mga jobs, pero may nakatutok na diyan na mga konsehal."
Belmonte recently graced the launch of Minute Maid Nurisha and the Department of Education's (DepEd) campaign pushing proper nutrition for schoolchildren held at the Sauyo Elementary School in Quezon City.
During his brief speech, he said, "Ang district ng Quezon City na ‘to, para siyang microcosm ng Quezon City.
“Halu-halo—village, gillage, mga pabrika, mga squatter—may historical [significance], kasi ‘eto ang cradle ng Katipunan, yung Tandang Sora."
District 6 has the highest incidence of malnutrition in the city.
Belmonte then encourage the parents who attended the launch, "Siguraduhin ninyo na kayong mga magulang mag-step up.
“Tulungan ninyo sa pag-aaral yung mga anak ninyo. Siguraduhin ninyo na pumasok sila sa paaralan, kasi para sa kinabukasan nila ‘yan."
He said the issue of child malnutrition should be promptly addressed.
"Kailangan na hindi sila malnourished para makakapasok sila sa eskuwela, makapagtapos sila, makakapagtrabaho sila nang maayos.
"Eto yung kagandahan ng sinasabi kong hindi ako mag-isa dito.
“Lahat ng mga konsehal at ng mga barangay, may mga focus ‘yan—culture, tourism, elderly, senior citizen, pagpapatibay ng participation ng organizations natin, livelihood, education, peace and order, anti-drugs—lahat mayroon.
“Sa ibang bansa, standard na one meal a day, sagot ng gobyerno," he pointed out, adding that these countries aren't even as poor as the Philippines to begin with.
LOOKING AFTER KIDS’ NUTRITIONAL WELFARE. He looks forward to the day when there won't be any need for government-instituted feeding programs .
Belmonte said Minute Maid’s Nurisha supplementary feeding program is a step in the right direction.
"Basta tuluy-tuloy ang pagbigay, makapag-focus sa pag-aaral ang mga bata."
Minute Maid Nurisha, administered through Coca-Cola Philippines, introduces an orange juice formulation that helps fight Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) in children, and is packed with 14 key nutrients including iron, zinc and multi-vitamins.
Over 300 kids from Sauyo Elementary School were able to try Nurisha during the launch, which kicked off the first of 120 days of supplementary feeding under Coca-Cola Philippines and DepEd's Adopt-A-School Program.
The target for 2015 is to bring Minute Maid Nurisha to 30,000 school children all over the Philippines, starting with the most undernourished or malnourished areas.
According to a 2008 National Nutrition Survey, roughly 3,000,000 children in the Philippines have IDA.
Belmonte said he's glad the ball has started rolling to solve the problem.
"Kulang ang budget ng gobyerno, kaya maganda ito na may private sector na tutugunan ang pangangailan na ito sa ibang lugar."