News on Health and Nutrition in Eastern Visayas region
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Public-Private-Partnership underway in the implementation of Salt Iodization Program

October 10, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  Ė  The Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (BATF) composing mostly of representatives from agencies of the government, has asked for the assistance of the local salt traders in improving the implementation of the salt iodization program.  With the backing of the Global Alliance for Nutrition (GAIN), a Public-Private-Partnership is now underway.

This is after the successful conduct of the first meeting between the two groups last September 29, 2010 at the Hotel Alejandro -- where the salt traders of Tacloban City reacted positively to help in government efforts to attain standard iodine content in table salt marketed throughout Eastern Visayas region.

Thus, another round of meeting between the two groups is scheduled on November 3, 2010 where the BATF members will be trained on the use of the WYD Iodine Checker donated by GAIN, and will be used in monitoring of salt at ports.

A survey bore that the iodine status of children and pregnant/lactating women in the region are below optimum. This may be because the salt being shipped to the region is below the 20ppm (highest of 70ppm).

Twelve traders or their representatives attended the said meeting, among them: Yaokasin Trading, A&J (Bright Marketing), Chin Hong Commercial, Fortune Merchandising, AMON Commercial, Asia Trading, Yapson Trading, Samís Trading, and Cocomart.

James Yap, proprietor manager of Yapson Trading, voiced out in the  said meeting that they (salt traders) thought all along that the salt they were getting here were all right (FDA standard). He expressed his gratitude for the information saying that they (traders) are willing to cooperate with the government for the success of the salt iodization program in Region 8.

The Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (BATF) in Eastern Visayas is composed of the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Philippine National Police, Philippine Ports Authority, the National Nutrition Council, Dept. of Science and Technology, Dept. of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Information Agency and media.