February 1, 2023

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Bontoc is the lone awardee in Mountain Province to receive two awards from the National Nutrition Council (NNC) during the Virtual Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony on Oct. 20.

The Municipal Nutrition Council (MNC) of Bontoc received a plaque of recognition as the first and only awardee in Mountain Province for the municipality with continuous decrease in stunting prevalence from 2018 to 2019, and another plaque as the second time and sole awardee in Mountain Province with less than 10 percent stunting prevalence.

The award is based on the effectiveness and efficiency in planning, management, and implementation of the nutrition programs of the local governments through their respective nutrition councils.

This year, it focuses on the result of the Operation Timbang (OPT) Plus conducted on children aged zero to 59 months in the 16 barangays of Bontoc from 2018 to 2021.

As per the record from the Municipal Health Office, Bontoc has recorded a 15.15 percent stunting prevalence rate in 2018. In 2019, it decreased to 7.67 percent and further decreased to 7.09 percent in 2020.

Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Venous Faith Cofulan, Nurse II Oliver Gacusana, and Nurse II Debbie Alynna Balantican attended the awarding ceremony on behalf of Mayor Franklin Odsey, who chairs the MNC.

Odsey said the awards are a result of collaborative efforts of the municipal government and its partner agencies and stakeholders in implementing programs and improving the nutritional status of the people in the community, particularly infants, children, and mothers.

“The awards accorded to Bontoc embody the unending commitment of the government to improve the nutritional status in the country, where no one is left behind. With this, I thank you for all your efforts and contributions in the delivery of nutrition services down to the grassroots- the community,” he said.

Among the nutrition programs conducted by the municipal government are the regular OPT and validation; monthly monitoring of malnourished cases; and intensive and continuous information, education, and communication campaign to adolescents and lactating mothers on malnutrition prevention.

As an  intervention, families with malnourished children were provided with livelihood through the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMAg). They were provided with free-range chicken and were encouraged to venture into brown egg production.

The Bontoc MNC also continuously promotes backyard gardening where the OMAg has provided vegetable seedling to the parents of malnourished children.

The town’s free newborn screening program is also serving its purpose, especially that home deliveries and delivery in barangay birthing clinics still occur, particularly in far-flung barangays. The result of the newborn screening allows health professionals to administer treatment to mitigate and control the effects.

A special award was accorded to the Barangay Nutrition Council of Bontoc Ili for landing in third place in the Cordillera Nutrisong 2021 Contest.

The awarding ceremony is an annual event carried out by the NNC to recognize LGUs and barangay nutrition scholars who excelled in nutrition in their respective areas. – Alpine L. Killa