Manila: Some 3.6 million children are stunted in the Philippines due to malnutrition, a report released by the non-governmental organisation "Save the Children" said on Thursday.
"Among its neighbouring countries in Southeast Asian region, only the Philippines recorded the significant level," said the report.
According to the report, one in three Filipino children suffers from stunted growth, an indicator of chronic malnutrition, Xinhua news agency reported.
"The assumption has always been that Filipinos are just genetically short but what we actually see now are generations of stunted and malnourished children," said doctor Amado Parawan, Save the Children's Health and Nutrition advisor.
"Because 'shortness' is considered a racial trait, it is not seen as a serious concern. Stunting is more than just being short, it impacts children's future because it hinders physical and mental growth," he added.
The NGO has called on the Philippine government, civil society, donors and the public to tackle the country's malnutrition crisis.