The National Nutrition Council (NNC) is eyeing the establishment of more food production facilities to supply healthy and affordable products in Eastern Visayas.
In an interview Tuesday, NNC Eastern Visayas nutrition officer NiAo Archie Labordo said healthy food processor plants can help reduce malnutrition in the region by providing more healthy food options to children.
Innovative food items produced in these facilities are great alternatives we recommend to parents. If this healthy food at affordable prices can be accessible in more areas then it can reduce if not eliminate the consumption of unhealthy food among children, Labordo said.
The NNC during a meeting with the regional nutrition committee has asked the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to build more of these especially in Samar provinces where there is a high malnutrition rate.
We recommended them to identify more areas like in Paranas and Zumarraga towns in Samar. However, DOST has to consider the capability of the local government unit to sustain and maintain the facility, Labordo said.
Among the current DOST food facilities in the region are the veggie-bread processing plants located in Ormoc City, Tacloban City, Tabango, Palo, MacArthur, Dagami, and Pastrana, all in Leyte province.
Two other facilities are in Palompon and Tolosa towns in Leyte that use squash, malunggay, and other vegetables as raw materials in noodles production. There are also two complementary food facilities in Baybay City and Palo town also in Leyte that process rice products and sesame-mongo.
These finished products contain calories and complete nutrients that a child needs since vegetables and natural ingredients are used as main ingredients, Labordo added.
He added that managing these DOST facilities is also in an open partnership with local governments to help them during emergencies. There are also ready-to-eat food products which are ideal during disaster operations, he said.
Meanwhile, the NNC has been linking with local government units to ensure that nutrition-related programs are included in their annual investment plan.
For the past three years, Eastern Visayas has attained a consistent reduction in malnutrition incidence, but only at the minimal rate that is why we have strengthened our partnership with LGUs to achieve better and more significant results, Labordo ended.
Source: Philippines News Agency