The Philippines fell to 104th spot from last year’s 96th rank in the 2018 End of Childhood Index despite economic development.
Philip Sebastian Belmonte /File
Best, worst countries for children: Philippines falls to 104th
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - June 2, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines dropped eight places in the global ranking of best and worst countries for children to grow up in, according to the latest report of international advocacy group Save the Children.

The Philippines fell to 104th spot from last year’s 96th rank in the 2018 End of Childhood Index despite economic development.

The report was released on Thursday ahead of the observance of International Children’s Day yesterday.

Save the Children’s “Many Faces of Exclusion” report also found the Philippines performing poorest by far on stunting, which affects one in three children under the age of five across the country.

The Philippines performed poorly on three different indicators: teenage childbearing, severe malnutrition and under-five mortality, according to the report. 

Singapore and Slovenia ranked first in the index followed by Norway, Sweden and Finland.

The Philippines’ neighbors China ranked 40th, Thailand 85th, Vietnam 96th and Indonesia 105th. 

Eight of the bottom 10 countries are in West and Central Africa, with Niger ranked last for the second year.

 “It’s really disappointing to see the Philippines slide backwards in the index, and to see an increase in stunting levels among children under five years of age when so much work is being done to try to improve the country’s nutrition standards and reverse the trend,” Save the Children Philippines chief executive officer Alberto Muyot said.

Muyot, former undersecretary for legal and legislative affairs of the Department of Education, said the stunting problem raised the need for the enactment of the so-called First 1,000 Days bill by Congress.

The measure seeks to scale up nutrition in the child’s first 1,000 days of life and to establish a maternal and child health care program throughout the country.

“Congress should pass this bill to help ensure that all children and pregnant women, especially the poorest, have access to proper health care and nutrition,” Muyot said.

The Senate passed on third and final reading the proposed legislation last March.

Save the Children International CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt attended the launching of the global report.

The report ranked 175 countries where childhood is most and least threatened as a result of poor health, malnutrition, exclusion from education, child labor, child marriage, early pregnancy and extreme violence.

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