10 Samar towns among top 20 'malnourished' municipalities in Region 8
By Ninfa B Quirante
Catbalogan City (21 August) -- Ten Samar towns figured prominently in the top twenty nutritionally depressed municipalities in Region 08.
In the Advocacy and Consultation Meeting on the Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program (AHMP) the data was revealed as shown by Operation Timbang data.
In the order of their appearance in the top twenty table, the list placed Jiabong, Samar in number two; San Jose de Buan in number 5; Motiong in number 7; and Tarangnan in number 9.
Gandara followed as number 13; Basey in number 15; and San Jorge and Tagapul-an in number 19 and 20 respectively.
Ironically, only Mayors Wilfredo Estorninos of Basey and Nancy Grey of San Jorge were present during the meeting of the mayors whose LGUs were listed in the top twenty.
A municipality is nutritionally depressed when it has the highest number of malnourished children as compared to others.
Others mayors who came were San Sebastian Mayor Arnold Abalos, Mayor Cornelio Bersales of Talalora, Mayor Kim Adolfo Lisandro of Sta Rita and Mayor Edwin Figueroa of Zumarraga.
Talalora Mayor Bersales was all smiles as he saw that his town of Talalora has only some 15% of children who are underweight.
Talalora is followed by Calbiga with only some 17.4 %.
LCEs were also told that the Municipal Nutrition Committees (MNCs) are non-functional with the exception of Catbalogan, Hinabangan, Motiong, Sta Margarita and Calbayog City. Mayor Abalos of Sta Rita though refuted the record saying they even had a grandiose Nutrition Month celebration in July 2008.
National Nutrition Council (NNC) Regional Director Carina Santiago was saddened that only a handful of LCEs came, she however praised those who cared to come to discover how their constituents stand as regards nutrition.
Aside from advocating for a strengthened nutrition program to rehabilitate malnourished children, Santiago also urged the LCEs to support their nutrition workers in a series of seminars and training that will be conducted later this year.
NNC said the training aims to recognize the LGU as primary implementor and as such should increase number of community-based workers, improve their capacities, equip them with logistics and support them with mentoring supervision.
Samar is considered a Priority Two province in the AHMP Priority Area as based on surveys conducted by NSO.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo mandated Executive Order 616, creating the Anti-Hunger Task Force composed of national government agencies to implement the component programs of AHMP.
Although the Regional Task Force has started implementing the component programs of the AHMP, it has failed to correlate how the accomplishments translated to a better nutritional status for Samar children. (PIA-Samar) [top]