By Marjune N. Muzones
Amid current health and education crises, business leaders called for action on how the government and private sectors can strive for inclusivity and development during the Shared Prosperity Forum: A People-Centered Agenda for Nutrition and Education held last July 13, 2022, at Makati City.
The hybrid event was organized by the Philippine Business for Education (PBED), Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and the Makati Business Club.
Dr. Chito B. Salazar, PBED President, amplified the different social ills that continue to beset the country like food insecurity, lack of proper nutrition, and poverty which in turn affects the learning ability of children and the youth.
“Child malnutrition caused by poverty leads to poor learning. Poor learning leads to underemployment and poverty, and poverty leads to child malnutrition. It’s a vicious cycle that affects at least 26 million Filipinos. We need to stop it now,” Dr. Salazar remarked.
“Investing in the nutrition and education of our youth is an economic imperative. We need to build strong human capital to drive productivity and inclusive economic growth,” he added.
The agenda for education and nutrition were hauled from the research, success stories, and evidence that the private sector garnered through the years and the belief of high returns from investments made for the younger generations.
“A Filipino child with optimal nutrition will have more significant cognitive development in order for them to stay in school longer, learn more in school, and have a brighter future as an adult, while malnutrition robs other children of a chance to succeed,” Mr. Melvin Uy, PBSP Executive Director said.
While battling malnutrition continues to be an uphill climb, a learning crisis also looms, and business sectors are pushing for greater involvement and support from the government so that crafted strategies will be put into action and lead to inclusive development for all.
“If we want learning for all, we should commit to “all for learning”. We implore our new administration to make effective learning a serious goal for its first 100 days… I call on them to make investment in our human capital their first order of business,” Mr. Ramon Del Rosario Jr, PBED Chair said.
“We need to shock our country about this crisis to give a sense of urgency that will mobilize all sectors of society… Together with the government, national and local, business sectors, and the church, we will succeed in overcoming this crisis,” Mr. Edgar Chua, Makati Business Club Chair also stated.
For a more comprehensive understanding of topics discussed, the recorded webinar session can be accessed through this link: