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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Report from R03: Bulacan

Plaridel catches highest award on nutrition

by William L. Beltran

The municipality of Plaridel, Bulacan earned the country’s highest honor in nutrition program implementation.

Plaridel was the lone recipient for this year’s Nutrition Honor Award (NHA) – the highest award given to localities that have consistently shown outstanding performance in efforts for nutrition improvement – during the National Nutrition Awards held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, Thursday, 4 November 2010.

The award was the fruit of the municipality’s effort of a continuing and sustained decline in the prevalence of underweight among its preschoolers from 3.2 percent in 2004 to 0.4 percent in 2009.

In 2009, five out of the 19 barangays of Plaridel had virtually zero cases of undernutrition. These were barangays Bagong Silang, Bintog, Culianin, Lumang Bayan, ang Tabang.

Plaridel, which now joins the roster of 43 local government units that have been conferred the NHA, has made mark in the exceptional implementation of nutrition-related programs that has catapulted a wide array of opportunities for the municipality. The town has been the consistent most outstanding in Central Luzon in the implementation of its nutrition action plan for six consecutive years now.

One of the nutrition initiatives of the municipality that was proven effective is the Ugnay Serbisyo sa Barangay, an integrated delivery of basic social services such as medical and dental checkups, family planning seminars, mobile birth registration and anti-rabies vaccination to all barangays of the municipality.

The LGU’s Oh My Gulay, Kalusugan Mo Nakasalalay sa Gulay Ko is another initiative that has encouraged the production and increased consumption of vegetables through the establishment of backyard gardens in all households.

The municipality has also maintained nutri-stores in all barangays which intensified the use and consumption of fortified food products.

Plaridel has also advocated the culture of breastfeeding for pregnant and lactating mothers. A breastfeeding center was built near the municipal hall to accommodate mothers who would like to breastfeed even when out of home.

Underweight preschoolchildren with primary complex were provided with necessary medical care through the Mga Bata’y Palusugin, Baga Nila’y Palakasin project.

Children were also regularly examined monthly at the Rural Health Unit and given appropriate medicines to treatment of infection. This program has effectively helped children to become less sickly and better nourished.

Meanwhile, Plaridel Mayor Anastacia Vistan said she was elated over the award, adding that, being a NHA recipient is a vindication of the LGU’s untiring collaborative effort to eradicate malnutrition in the locality.

Vistan was overjoyed that Plaridel has won its battle against malnutrition, adding that the municipality, through its Municipal Nutrition Council (MNC), will not falter on initiating measures to sustain the nourishment of its constituents.

Moreover, the province of Bulacan was conferred the Crown Award also during the National Nutrition Awards for having been the regional outstanding winner in nutrition for three consecutive years. (PIA)

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