Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, February 16, 2009


The Olongapo City Nutrition Council aims to increase the number of households who use iodized salt as part of the city government’s effort to combat malnutrition.

In a public hearing called upon by Councilor Gie Baloy, Committee on Health Chair, Barangay Health Workers and Barangay Councilors in charge of Health Concerns from each of the 17 barangays were present, City Nutritionist Richele Eve Torralba discussed the city’s nutrition programs stressing on the importance of iodine and the regular use of iodized salt in food preparation.

The use of iodized salt is mandated by Republic Act 8172 also known as the “Asin Law” (An Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide [ASIN] which is the government’s salt iodization program.

According to research, salt iodization is seen to address iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), common among Filipinos, especially among school children and pregnant women. IDD can cause stillbirths, low IQ and stunted growth.

Some of the most common reasons cited for not using iodized salt are unavailability in the market and its higher cost compared to plain salt.

The steady supply of iodized salt in Olongapo will be ensured by the Samahan ng Kababaihan ng Mabayuan, a group of ten (10) women who underwent training in iodized salt production conducted and facilitated by the Department of Health. This is now the livelihood project of the group.

Aside from being a “Gawang Gapo” product, the locally produced Iodized Salt is guaranteed fresh and is more affordable than the ones being sold commercially.

The said group was able to deliver 500 pieces of ¼ kg packs to the City Health Office which was then distributed to all the Barangay Health Centers for disposal to the identified families who have malnourished children.

The group also expressed their willingness to share and train other groups from other barangays to be able to meet the increase in demand of iodized salt in the future.

Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. is also appealing to all food service establishments, government and private hospitals within the city to start using iodized salt.

The promotion of iodized salt has been a part of the city’s health and nutrition program. Salt iodization and its benefits are also being included in all levels of health subjects both in public and private school. Also discussed was the management of canteens in public schools in the kinds of food they are selling. Mayor Gordon wants to lessen the presence of junk foods in public schools and eventually completely rid of it.

“Dapat habang bata pa ay pinapakain na natin ng tama ang mga anak natin upang maiwasan ang ‘vicious cycle’ ng malnutrisyon.”

“We will make sure that the right nutrients are made available to school children even when they’re in school,” explained Mayor Gordon.


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