The BBM-Sara UniTeam on Sunday said that if their tandem is catapulted into office in next year's 2022 elections, they will intensify the fight against the country's long-standing malnutrition problem, resulting from alarming poverty incidence in the country and exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, should their tandem win in next year’s elections.
Malnutrition is, and has always been, a serious problem in the Philippines. The country is rated fifth in the East Asia and Pacific area for the greatest frequency of stunting, and it is among the top ten countries in the world for stunted children.
Meanwhile, Former Palace spokesperson Herminio “Harry” Roque Jr. backed the presidential bid of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard-bearer Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. in the May 2022 elections.
In a November 25, 2021 letter to PFP chairman Marcos, Roque, a staunch defender of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, endorsed the presidential candidate and also expressed his desire to accept the adoption of the PFP as guest candidate for senator.
According to the duo, due to poverty, the Philippines also ranks in the world when it comes to malnutrition, which is considered one of our country's most critical concerns. They said if given the chance, they shall strengthen the campaign against it.
"Malnutrition is really a big challenge in all previous administrations. We are not missing from the global list when it comes to this problem, so our government must really intensify the campaign against it, but of course we must also solve the worsening problem of poverty in our country which is the root cause of malnutrition to end hunger,” the BBM-Sara UniTeam stated.
They held that the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the country’s famine problem since many people have lost their jobs and businesses.
“Malnutrition is a consequence of persistent hunger, and hunger a consequence of extreme poverty,” they stated.
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, hunger levels in the Philippines skyrocketed. According to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted in September 2020, after seven months of community quarantine, 31% of households experienced hunger in the previous 30 days, and 9% experienced severe hunger, the highest levels in more than 20 years.
"There are many ways we can add to the current program. The long-term solution — the one that can really help the people, the students and everyone who are hungry – is to address poverty.
Roque’s move did not come as a surprise to some political observers as it is widely held that more political personalities will join the BBM-Sara Uniteam alliance in the coming days, bolstering Marcos’s call for unity as the country slowly moves from the airtight grip of the Covid-19 pandemic towards healing and national recovery.
The BBM-Sara Uniteam, an alliance among PFP, Lakas-CMD, Pwersa ng Masa and Hugpong ng Pagbabago, is fielding a Marcos-Sara Duterte tandem, both leading by a wide margin in presidential and vice presidential formal (methodological) and face-to-face man-on-the-street surveys nationwide.
“Unity will make our country strong and stable. Let us not allow ourselves to remain divided by partisan politics before, during the campaign and after we have already installed new leaders in our government,” Marcos said.
Roque served as congressman, law professor and human rights advocate.
He was tapped as Palace spokesperson from 2017 to 2018 and was reappointed in April 2020 until his resignation last November when he officially filed his certificate of candidacy for senator.