The Palawan provincial board will summon in its regular session next week 10 municipalities in Palawan that have recorded the highest malnutrition prevalence rates in the province, in a bid to formulate measures to address the problem.
The Provincial Nutrition Office, in its recent survey, has listed down these municipalities as Kalayaan, Cuyo, Coron, Aborlan, Rizal, Balabac, Araceli, Busuanga, Agutaya, Roxas, Linapacan, and El Nido. The same survey had shown these towns to have high prevalence of malnutrition among children ages 3 to 5.
Board Member Winston Arzaga also urged these municipalities to appoint a focal person to handle their respective nutrition program.
“Marami kasing munisipyo na ang municipal nutrition action officer ay naka-focus sa ibang bagay. Hindi naka-focus sa malnutrition. So makikita mo naman ang resulta,” Arzaga said.
Arzaga said that the report on malnutrition prevalence is alarming considering its negative impact in the image of Palawan as the ‘most beautiful island in the world’. This, he said, “will diminish the luster of the province”.
He also noted that the unsuitable soil condition of areas particularly in the north for planting vegetables and other agricultural crops contributes to the problem of food scarcity.
The legislators have also invited the municipalities of San Vicente, Narra, Magsaysay, and Brooke’s Point which were shown to have successful implementation of nutrition programs.
In 2016, the municipality of San Vicente won the 2016 Regional Nutrition Green Banner Award in the whole MIMAROPA Region for having the lowest recorded malnutrition rate for the whole year.