GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 November) — For the fourth time, South Cotabato province has emerged as Region 12’s top implementer and achiever in efforts to address malnutrition problems in the area.
Ma. Ana Uy, South Cotabato provincial nutrition action officer, said Wednesday the province is set to receive in Malacanang next month its fourth Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner on Nutrition or CROWN award.
She said the CROWN award is conferred to municipalities, cities and provinces that have continuously intensified efforts to improve the nutrition situation in their areas through effective management of local nutrition programs.
Aside from the province, Uy said Barangay Palkan in Polomolok town will receive the Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Committee award, and Polomolok for the Outstanding Municipality in the regional level.
Junelia Domel of Barangay New Iloilo in Tantangan also topped the Regional Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar category while Barangay Upper Klinan in Polomolok was adjudged with the Best Gulayan sa Barangay Project (Phase IV), she said.
She said the National Nutrition Council will honor the regional nutrition champions on Dec. 13 in a ceremony that will be graced by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
“We are thankful to our nutrition partners for our successful and outstanding performance in nutrition program management in three consecutive years,” Uy said.
Records showed that South Cotabato province’s malnutrition prevalence has been declining consistently and remained in single-digit rate in the last six years.
The area’s malnutrition rate was recorded at 9.01 percent in 2011, 8.38 percent in 2012, 7.63 percent in 2013, 7.26 percent in 2014, 5.63 percent in 2015 and 5.15 percent in 2016.
For this year, the local government covered a total of 104,840 or 86.70 percent of the estimated 120,840 preschool children in the province for its “Operation Timbang.”
Among those weighed, only 4,425 were found underweight, 981 as severely underweight and 548 were overweight.
Of the province’s 10 municipalities, Lake Sebu town posted the highest malnutrition prevalence rate at 9.16 percent while Surallah had the lowest at 1.57 percent.
Uy credited the intensified efforts of the provincial government and its partners in the public and private sectors for the decreasing malnutrition prevalence in the province.
She cited the continuing expansion of the supplemental feeding and information and education campaigns that are supported by various non-government groups, among them the Save the Children, Mahintana Foundation Inc., World Vision, Bethesda Ministries International, Feed the Children International and RD Foundation.
“Our work is not done with this accomplishment as we will now aspire to get the CROWN maintenance award,” Uy said.
The CROWN maintenance award is presented to localities that have “outperformed” their targets within the first year after being chosen as a CROWN awardee. (MindaNews)