By Freddie G. Lazaro
PIA, Ilocos Sur
VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur, Aug 16 (PIA) — The city government of Vigan has intensified its vegetable production campaign in all barangays and schools to sustain the healthy status of school children.
The city government is continuously conducting the searches for best school in a garden and barangay with best vegetable garden; and the promotion of container gardening.
Mayor Eva Marie S. Medina said this city’s nutrition programs is in line with this year’s theme of the 2012 Nutrition Month Celebration “Pagkain ng gulay ugaliin, araw- araw itong ihain!”
Through the said search contest, Medina said, the schools’ teachers and their students as well as the barangay officials and their constituents will surely be encouraged to develop their own vegetable gardens.
She said winners of the two searches spearheaded by the city government will receive their awards during the annual city fiesta every January.
“Although the national nutrition month celebration is set every month of July, we are doing it year- round in the city level through our various nutrition programs benefiting our constituents particularly the children,” she said.
City Councilor Kristen Benedict Figuerres, the city council’s committee chair on health and nutrition, said this year’s theme on nutrition month celebration focuses on encouraging Filipinos to increase consumption of vegetables to address the micronutrient deficiencies and prevent non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.
“This year’s nutrition month campaign is in response to the finding that the average Filipino eats less and less vegetables per day in the past 30 years,” he said.
The nutrition month campaign also aims to encourage families, schools and communities to put up vegetable gardens to ensure supply of fresh and nutritious vegetables. Having vegetable gardens can help reduce malnutrition and hunger especially among poor families,” he said.
Figuerres, a professional doctor, said vegetables are packed with nutrients as these are sources of dietary fiber; Vitamins A, B, C and E; potassium; folic acid; iron; calcium; and antioxidants such as carotenoids, lycopene and phytochemicals which can help strengthen the body’s immune system and reduce the risk of diseases.
The Vigan City government was adjudged best nutrition program implementor in the Ilocos Region for the past two years for having the lowest rate of malnutrition incidence.#