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Philippines News Agency

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The Philippines News Agency

The Philippines News Agency (PNA) is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government. The PNA Headquarters are housed at the 2nd floor of the PIA building along Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. PNA's website address is http://www.pna.gov.ph

It has been 35 years since PNA was launched in an era when newswire operations relied mainly on teletype machines and typewriters. PNA has steadily paced the highly competitive and changing arena of Philippine journalism; it is now slowly but surely coming to par with the challenges posed by the globalization of media communications. This has deeply shaped modern journalism and the news media organizations that have been instrumental in creating the very conditions that made globalization a reality.

PNA has evolved today as an Internet-based news service agency that caters to the global demand for news and information to its subscribers, readers and a host of other clients. PNA's mission is spelled out clearly: to provide the government, the Presidency, the public, as well as its media and non-media clients, both local and foreign based, sober, factual, impartial and objective news and information. PNA provides news 24/7, including photos of major events, feature stories, sports news and events, local and global opinions, general information, as well as global news and feature stories. PNA employs about a hundred journalists and stringers across the country, with several foreign-based correspondents.

PNA beat reporters and stringers are deployed practically in every government office and agency, including the main offices and camps of police and security forces, to provide news 24/7 for local, regional and global subscribers and readers. PNA likewise maintains active news exchanges with news agencies of ASEAN member-countries and the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA).

Philippines News Agency
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Latest Press Release
2014 Nutrition Month Celebration at IRRI Los Banos, Laguna. (PNA)

2014 Nutrition Month Celebration at IRRI Los Banos, Laguna. (PNA)

Villar lauds IRRI efforts to create ‘healthy rice’

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, (PNA) -- Senator Cynthia Villar on Wednesday commended the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for its initiatives to enhance the nutritional content of rice as it would be a big boost to government efforts to address key health concerns and improve public health in general.

Speaking at a forum organized by IRRI as part of its Nutrition Month celebrations, Villar said that the agency’s move to come out with healthier rice varieties is a very welcome development.

“Rice has the potential of reaching many Filipinos. Healthier varieties of the staple – which would have more iron, zinc and beta-carotene among other nutrients – would be a big boost in improving the health and nutrition of the population,” she said.

Based on the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), 94.7 percent of Filipino households consume rice.

She added that gains from increased farm productivity and income will be more amplified and obtain more benefits if the health and nutrition of the people, especially the most vulnerable communities, will improve.

The chairperson of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee took special note of the important role that IRRI’s “Healthier Rice Program” will play in fighting the prevalence of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies among Filipinos of all ages.

“The status of micronutrient malnutrition in the Philippines, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is a cause for concern,” Villar said.

According to the FAO report, iron deficiency disorder (anemia) is the most alarming of the micronutrient deficiencies affecting 56.6 percent of infants; 50.7 percent of pregnant women; 45.7 percent of lactating women; and 49.1 percent of older male persons.

“I believe that IRRI’s valuable efforts to enhance the nutritional content of rice are a step in the right direction. Even a small increase in the micronutrient content of rice could have a significant impact on health,” Villar said.

“What needs be done now is to make healthy rice available to all Filipinos. Let us continue to exert and join efforts in making it possible for this generation of rice-eaters and onwards,” she said. (PNA)