Bantay Kalusugan services were provided to detainees and employees of the Palawan Provincial Jail (PPJ) Monday in celebration of Nutrition Month.

The Provincial Health Office (PHO) and Provincial Nutrition Office (PNO) of Palawan conducted the program at PPJ on July 10. Among the services provided to persons deprived of liberty (PDL) and the jail staff were blood pressure screening, Body Mass Index (BMI) assessment, as well as lectures and nutrition counseling.

This activity is conducted annually by the respective offices to monitor the health of these individuals.

“Ginaganap talaga natin ito yearly dahil medyo mataas din ang kanilang problema sa non-communicable diseases. Isa sa mga intervention natin is to monitor and create awareness,” explained Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Rachel Paladan.

In the discussion, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Faye Erika Labrador emphasized this year’s theme of Nutrition Month, which is “Healthy Diet, Gawing Affordable for all!”

She said the theme conveys the importance of making nutritious food options accessible and affordable to everyone. It highlights the need to address the barriers that prevent individuals from adopting and maintaining a healthy diet.

She told the detainees that a healthy diet is essential for overall well-being, as it provides the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that support optimal physical, and mental health. Although they are jailed awaiting the decision of their cases, they can utilize their time by planting crops that they can later use for their healthy meals.

“Marami pong diet ang naglipana ngayon, may keto diet, low carb diet, which are very expensive by the way, pero ang pinakaimportante sa lahat is ‘yung affordable diet. Alam niyo po ba na pwede naman tayong magtanim sa ating mga bahay? Kung walang lupa, pwede namang vertical garden,” said Dr. Labrador.

This was supported by Paladan, who showcased the food garden tended to by the PDLs, where they are able to harvest a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

She said they also included some PDLs to be part of the lecture to provide additional knowledge on how they can have nutritious and balanced meals aside from what is being served by the management.

“As part ng theme natin, Healthy Diet Gawing Affordable for all, sinama rin natin ang mga PDL natin para maging parte ng lecture para magbigay ng dagdag kaalaman kung paano magiging masustansiya at balanse ang kinakain nila aside from sa sineserve ng pamunuan. Kailangan nila ng karagdagang sustansiya na makukuha ng libre sa kanilang backyard garden,” said Paladan.

The PNO is responsible for creating the menu for the PDLs to ensure proper nutrition for them, despite the limited budget, which the management of the Provincial Jail greatly appreciates.

“Yung ating Provincial Nutrition Office at Provincial Health Office, hindi naman sila ngayon lang pumunta dito. Lagi silang naka-coordinate dito. ‘Yung ating Nutrition Office sila ‘yung nagmomonitor ng diet nila [PDL], ‘yung menu, pilit nilang pinagkakasya para maging nutritious pa rin kahit maliit lang ‘yung pondo,” Provincial Jail Warden PSSupt. Gabriel Lopez, meanwhile, said.