March 27, 2023

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The local government awarded the winners in the 2022 Search for the Healthiest Places on June 6.

Initiated by the Municipal Nutrition Council (MNC), the search aimed to encourage a healthy environment and healthy lifestyle in communities and schools.

The search had three categories: barangay, elementary school, and secondary school.

The winners in the barangays and schools categories received P5,000 cash prize each and certificates of recognition.

Mayor Franklin Odsey who also chairs the MNC and Municipal Health Officer Diga Kay Gomez awarded the prizes and certificates of recognition to the winners. The prizes shall be used for health-related projects, programs and activities in the respective areas.

In the Barangay Category, Barangay Tocucan was adjudged as the winner while barangays Samoki and Poblacion came in second and third, respectively.

For the Elementary School Category, Guina-ang Elementary School was proclaimed the winner. Mainit ES came in 2nd place and Mountain Province SPED Center in 3rd place.

Guina-ang National High School (NHS) is the winner in the Secondary School Category. Talubin NHS is 2nd place, and Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School came in 3rd place.

Criteria for the Search for Healthiest Elementary and Secondary Schools include presence of sanitary toilets, hand washing facility/ dental trough and adequate water supply; number of school personnel using sanitary toilet at home; number of teaching and non-teaching personnel who are smoking; implementation of wellness program; no junk food sold in the school campus and students’ snacks are monitored; well-maintained vegetation; students and school personnel practicing proper solid waste management; well-maintained drainage; and absence of health hazards in the school and its premises.

The criteria also include the number of school personnel diagnosed with non-communicable diseases (NCD), decreasing prevalence of malnutrition, decrease in the number of malnourished students, regular activities conducted to address malnutrition and NCDs, implementation of the anti-bullying policy, presence of health and nutrition action plan and accomplishment report, presence of organized and functional health scouts in the school, advocacy and/or capacity building activities to students related to health and nutrition, and best practices on nutrition.

Criteria for the Barangay Category include number of smoking personnel at the barangay hall; households with backyard garden, uma or ricefield where they produce their own food; absence of health hazard in the barangay, health advocacies done by barangay to the community during meetings; and households using sanitary toilets.

Also, the barangays should have clean pathways, roads and canals; absence of breeding sites for mosquitoes; households have access to potable and adequate drinking water; reforestation programs to include absence of forest or mountain fire; scheduled activities for clean-up drive; and waste management.

Also included in the criteria are budgetary support for health promotion, have monitoring and enforcement mechanism, presence of health or health-related policies initiated or adopted and implemented by the barangay, presence of annual nutrition action plan 2021 and accomplishment report 2020, low incidence of NCD, decreasing prevalence of malnutrition in pre-school, activities initiated by the barangay staff to address health issues specifically malnutrition in children and adults, no violence against women and children, and best practices on health and nutrition.

The 2022 Search for the Healthiest Places is part of the activities of the local government in celebration of Nutrition Month. – Alpine K. Malwagay