Binay and Makati’s Nutrition Program

The health sector is one closest to my heart. I come from a province that has high incidence of malnutrition. I must know this because I have relatives working at the Provincial Hospital and barangay health centers. Health and nutrition are not among the priorities of the local government, given that these are twin basic needs of the people and must be provided by leaders, not to mention their responsibilities under the Local Government Code of 1991.

That’s why when I get to know Makati and its Mayor, I was amazed that a local government, say a city life Makati has great health and nutrition services. It has also the best administrator and local chief executive in the person of Mayor Jejomar Cabauatan Binay who really cares a lot, especially in providing the basic needs of his constituents.

In my earlier post, I talked on the pressing problem brought about by the influenza A(H1N1) virus and the Makati health services under the leadership of Mayor Binay.

Aside from the Expanded Immunization Program of Mayor Binay, I want to present here the Nutrition Program being implemented in the premier City of Makati.

The Nutrition Office under the Makati Health Department has been implementing an integrated Nutrition Program focused particularly on high-risk groups like children, whom Mayor Jejomar C. Binay regards as the “richest human resources of the city.”

To promote nutritional adequacy among residents, the program includes regular weighing activities under “Operation Timbang,” nutrition information and education, micronutrients supplementation (Vitamin A, iron), center-based feeding and dry rationing, and emergency food assistance to families of underweight children.

The continuous advocacy and sustained drive for proper nourishment, especially among children in Makati, is guided by the belief of Mayor Binay that ensuring healthy minds and healthy bodies from generation to generation is crucial to building a strong foundation for the country’s future.

“We are, in fact, laying the foundation for them to become great leaders of the future,” says the Mayor.

Makati’s nutritional status continues to improve each year, as indicated by its declining malnutrition prevalence rate over a five-year period: 2003 – 1.82 percent; 2004 – 1.72 per cent; 2005 – 1.53 per cent; 2006 – 1.2 per cent; and 2007 – 1.09 per cent. Makati’s malnutrition rate is considered the lowest in Metro Manila. These figures are based on the Makati’ Best, a guide on Makati’s best practices.

The City of Makati has earned numerous accolades for its Nutrition Program, including the Nutrition Honor Award, the highest award given by the National Nutrition Council. It has been a consistent recipient of the Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition Program.

Kung nagawa sa Makati, magagawa rin sa buong bansa. Nutrition Program being implemented in a city like Makati can be replicated in the entire country.

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