LAOAG CITY – Some 760 barangay "nutrition scholars" or volunteers in Ilocos Norte on Tuesday received PHP3,000 each from the provincial government for helping the local government implement health programs at the grassroots level during the pandemic.
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said the cash aid, which he personally handed at the Laoag City Centennial Arena, covers the province's 21 towns and two cities.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa inyo sa serbisyo niyo sa ating mga bata, especially para sa mga feeding and nutrition activities. Usually, volunteer kayo at wala talagang bayad. Ngayon po, may kaunting cash assistance para sa inyo (I’m so thankful for your service to our children, especially for the feeding and nutrition activities. Usually, you work as volunteers and you are not paid. Now, there’s small cash assistance for you),” Manotoc said.
In the past years, the Ilocos Region has seen a decrease in stunting prevalence among children below 5 years old, dropping to 4.21 percent in 2021 from 4.86 percent in the previous year, according to the National Nutrition Council.
Stunting happens when children become smaller in height compared with healthier children of the same age primarily because of poor nutrition.
Elma Irapta, provincial nutritionist of Ilocos Norte, said feeding programs in schools and in the barangays have helped improve the health and nutrition of the children.
According to Irapta, supplementary feeding programs will continue this year to include 6-month-old infants up to 5-year-old children.
“We will also have feeding programs for pregnant women this year,” she added. (PNA)