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54th Session of the Commission on Population and Development

Tuesday, 20 April 2021
New York, USA


Mr. Chair, Excellencies, the Government of the Philippines strongly commits to protect and advance the gains of the ICPD Program of Action, especially during this pandemic.

Population planning and food security are key to unlocking the country’s growth potential and the health and welfare of all Filipinos.

Our goal is to give every Filipino access to quality healthcare, nutrition services, and family planning, through the implementation of the Universal Health Care law and the Reproductive Health law.

Key policy reforms have enabled us to improve agriculture productivity and food security.  We enacted the Rice Tariffication Law in 2019 to bring down rice prices for the benefit of all Filipinos especially the poor, improve the country’s food security, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of rice farmers.

However, while falling over the years, malnutrition in the country remains high. As of 2019, 5.8 percent or around 600,000 children under five years old are wasted, 19 percent or 2.1 million are underweight, and 28.8 percent or 3.2 million children are stunted.

We have implemented the First 1,000 Days Act, which institutionalized a national feeding program in public day care, kindergarten, and elementary schools. Through this, we aim to further reduce the prevalence of stunting among children under five years old as we factor in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to food security and nutrition.

Moreover, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recently created the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger to ensure a whole-of-government approach to eradicating hunger and achieving food security. Reforms to promote sustainable consumption and production are embodied in the Philippine Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges we are facing in securing food, nutrition, and good health for all Filipinos. Overcoming this unprecedented crisis requires stronger collaboration.  Let us continue to work hard together to ensure that our common goal of human capital development is fully realized.