President Aquino joins National Prayer Assembly in celebration of 55th Anniversary of World Vision Philippines in Quezon City
President Benigno S. Aquino III joined people of different faiths and religious denominations during the National Prayer Assembly in celebration of the World Vision Philippines' 55th Anniversary on Friday in Quezon City.
The Chief Executive was the guest of honor and speaker during the event dubbed "Mahal Ko ang Pilipinas National Prayer Assembly" at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The event gathered people of different faiths and religious denominations to pray for the country and its leaders led by President Aquino. After delivering his speech, the President was prayed over by church leaders and other members of the religious congregations.
In partnership with the K4 Philippines Prayer Movement, the World Vision said the prayer assembly culminated its anniversary celebration that had for its theme “Sharing the Joy of Hope.”
"The National Prayer Assembly is a way of celebrating our anniversary by committing to prayers our national leaders headed by the President. We want to have a transformed Philippines for the sake of the Filipino children," according to Rev. Joey Umali, Strategic Engagement Advisor of World Vision.
The program included prayer intentions for the leaders of different government bureaucracies and departments, non-government organizations (NGOs), overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), media organizations, the Filipino families, children and youth and for peace and economic stability of the country.
The National Prayer Assembly was participated in by various Catholic, Christian and Muslim congregations and leaders, notably former World Vision Board Chairman Bishop Deogracias Iniguez; former sponsored-child Bishop Leo P. Alconga of the Philippines for Jesus Movement, Bishop Jonel Milan, president of K4 Philippines, Prayer Movement, Bishop Fred Magbanua of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches and Sheikh Ahmad G. Ampuan of the Ulama League of the Philipppines, as well as World Vision celebrity advocate Gary Valenciano, among others.
Meanwhile, the World Vision Development Foundation Inc., an international child-focused organization, called for a massive action to reduce child deaths. The foundation lined up several programs for its Global Week of Action to be held on November 13-20.
Also in attendance were Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno; Senator Franklin Drilon, Senator Francis Pangilinan, Samar’s First District Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento, Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, Cebu's 6th District Rep. Gabriel “Luigi” Quisumbing, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio "Jun" Abaya, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Office Secretary Ramon Carandang, WVP Board of Trustees chairperson Atty. Liwayway Vinzons-Chato; WVP Board of Trustees member retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno, World Vision International South Asia and Pacific Regional leader Trihadi Saptoadi; World Vision International Global Field Operation partnership leader Dirk Booy and World Vision Development Foundation Executive Director Elnora Bailen-Avarientos, among others. PND (js)
President Aquino cites contributions of World Vision to improve the lives of chilren and poor communities
President Benigno S. Aquino III cited the World Vision Philippines for its contributions to national growth, particularly improving the lives of the children and the poor communities in the Philippines.
In his keynote speech at the World Vision Philippines 55th Anniversary celebration dubbed "Mahal Ko ang Ang Pilipinas National Prayer Assembly" held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Friday, the President assured the World Vision to support its advocacy to help transform the world's poorest children and families.
The World Vision is an international Christian, child-focused, relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, their families and communities worldwide to overcome poverty and injustice.
"World Vision has given children a chance to realize their dreams, while also giving those with resources a chance to enrich their lives by helping others," the President said.
"Your work has empowered many from different sectors to defeat the culture of negativity, and replace it with a culture of compassion. For that, I thank you and congratulate you. I also thank as well all those who have contributed to your causes," he stressed.
President Aquino reiterated his administration's commitment to strengthen its programs to improve the lives of the children and their families."
It is up to us to show them that Filipino compassion is not seasonal. And through our work, perhaps we may allow those in the margins to lift themselves and their families out of poverty, and to one day likewise give to their countrymen in need, contributing to the virtuous cycle of social good.
The fulfillment of these hopes depends on our continuous actions today," he said, calling on the Filipino people to support the country's campaign to provide children access to food, education and better health service.
The President said there is a need to seek God’s intervention to lead the country to achieve progress.
"As the Gospel of Matthew says: The last shall be first, and the first last. It is this very idea that World Vision Philippines has taken to heart since its inception. It is also the idea that serves as our administration’s guiding star—that true leadership is servant leadership; and that true growth is one that is inclusive—where no one is left behind," he said.
"Today, we gather to strengthen that faith, and to pray for our collective hopes. More than that, however, we are also celebrating an organization dedicated to giving others back their ability to hope," he noted. PND (js)
Aquino asks government agencies and the public to work together in addressing malnutrition
President Benigno S. Aquino III encouraged the people, local communities and government agencies to work together in addressing malnutrition in the country particularly the nutritional needs of young children.
In his address during the 2012 National Nutrition awarding ceremony in Pasay City on Friday, the President said that while the government has achieved a lot in fighting malnutrition, there are many challenges that lie ahead.
Part of the government’s Millennium Development Goals targets is to provide the people with better nutrition and healthcare, the President said particularly focusing on underweight children under five-years old.
The government made significant gains in the past several years, he said noting that based on the report “Updating of the Nutritional Status of Filipinos” made by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, from 26.5 percent underweight children in 1992, the administration was able to reduce it to 20.2 percent in 2011.
While the chief executive congratulated local government units and national agencies, he acknowledged the need to achieve the target of 13.6 percent by 2015 and the government must work harder to reach this goal.
“Marami na tayong nagawa, ngunit marami pa rin tayong kailangang pagsumikapan. Aminin po natin, malaki-laki ang atas na maabot ang target na ito,” he said.
“Kaya naman, hinihikayat ko po ang bawat isa na kung maaari doblehin pa ang kayod, at pag-igihan pa ang pagtutulungan, para sama-sama nating mapagtagumpayan ito.”
One of the major strategies is by focusing on the first 1,000 days of each child—from conception to two years old, the President said.
This could be achieved by carrying out nutrition counseling for expectant mothers, preparing them for breastfeeding, putting up lactation stations and by promoting the regular use of alternative milk.
The President underscored the importance of providing children with the optimum nutrition in the first two years of their lives to ensure better foundation of their overall well-being and health.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with the LGUs and non-government organizations, is continuously implementing supplementary feeding programs, providing children attending daycare sessions with nutritious food.
As of September this year, 581,388 children from 13,268 daycare centers throughout the country were able to benefit from the program, the President said.
As part of government initiative to invest in people, he said the DSWD will continue to carry out the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
Beneficiaries will receive government assistance as long as they comply with the conditions set by the program, the President said.
The program yielded good results, from January to August this year, the compliance rate for check-up or immunization for pregnant women and children is 96.26 percent. For deworming children aged six to 14 years old, the compliance rate is 99.23 percent, the President reported.
“Ang bawat hakbang naman po na isinasagawa natin ay nakasandig pa rin sa iisang layunin ---ang pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng mga Pilipino, at bigyan sila ng mas malawak na pagkakataon sa kaunlaran,” he said.
At the same time, the President called on the parents to guide their children and prepare them for the future noting the Filipino children will be the nation builders of tomorrow.
Addressing the nutritional needs of the people is a paramount concern of the government because unlike other problems, any delay in solving these problems would have a long term impact on the people and the country’s ability to develop, the President said.
The 2012 National Nutrition awarding ceremony, organized by the Department of Health, is aimed at recognizing the contributions LGUs and Barangay Nutrition Scholars in improving their communities. PND (as/3:54pm)