City to support Iron-Fortification Program

THE City Council committee on agriculture chaired by Councilor Jay R. Pascual during its recent meeting discussed DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2022-089 on Scaling Up Rice Fortification for Local Social Safety Net Programs.

The MC is pursuant to RA 8976 or the Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000 which serves as the medium-term response to eliminate micronutrient deficiencies and mandates the fortification of staple foods, both imported and locally-processed foods such as rice with iron, sugar, and cooking oil with vitamin A, and wheat flour with iron and vitamin A. Rice, as a staple food of the country, is an appropriate vehicle for iron fortification to reduce iron-deficiency anemia, The Gavel learned.

The City Nutrition Officer pointed out that the role of the local government is to support the Iron Fortification Program in its feeding programs, especially during disasters where the beneficiaries are in their most vulnerable condition. It has to commit, thru the CSWD and other agencies, to buy fortified rice to address the iron deficiency of the children as well, she further cited.

Food Fortification means the addition of nutrients to processed foods or food products at levels above the natural state. Iron-fortified rice (IFR) is milled rice with added iron blended by the addition of iron-rice premix to milled rice, The Gavel learned.

“We will do (support) that but maghulat sad ta sa NFA (National Food Authority) kung maka produce na sila og fortified rice pero kung naa man gani producers ani, pwede ang city government didto na lang mag procure. We will support this kay ang mga kabataan ra ba atong gitan-aw,” Pascual assured.

BASIL Program

During the meeting, the committee also discussed the implementation of the Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa (BASIL) Program at Lake Danao in Barangay Pagalungan.

A representative from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Region 10 (BFAR-10) said he will submit a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) covering a three-party collaboration in the implementation of the project for one year.

The new MOA will include the beneficiary of the project. The previous one only involved the collaboration of the city government and BFAR, he explained.

“We have to make a new MOA para dili nato i-back date ang ordinance, yes we will make a new ordinance for that,” Pascual further affirmed.

Councilor Malvern Esparcia attended the meeting.