TWG-NSIP, NCC hold meeting to strengthen salt cooperatives

ALAMINOS CITY – The Technical Working Group of the National Salt Iodization Program (TWG-NSIP) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) as the lead agency held their 2nd meeting at the Islandia Hotel, Alaminos City in Pangasinan on April 10-12, 2013 with the objectives of organizing and strengthening salt cooperatives, NSIP Promotion and Advocacy Plan, update Strategic Plan 2011-2016 and conduct field visits to Bolinao and Dasol, Pangasinan.

The TWG-NSIP was organized on March 23, 2011 to strengthen the management of the national salt iodization program in the country and address the concerns of the salt industry in order to meet its goal and program objectives as well as to address Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD), a broad spectrum of deficiencies resulting from lack of iodine in the diet which may result to goiter, mental retardation, physical and mental defects, and cretinism.

The members of the TWG NSIP on their pursuit of the implementation of the ASIN Law also known as “An Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide” were guided by the four main components of the program namely: 1) production, 2) marketing and distribution, 3) promotions and advocacy, and 4) management and coordination.

The team visited the biggest salt producer in the country, Pacific Farms Inc., the producer of Fidel Iodized Salt in Bolinao, Pangasinan and some small scale salt producers in Dasol, Pangasinan.

During the field visit, the group also conducted interviews among households, sari-sari stores, food service establishments, health centers, and bakeries in Brgy. Liwa-liwa, Bolinao and Brgy. Bobonot, Dasol, Pangasinan. The survey also included a salt sample collection from the respondents which were then tested for its iodine content using WYD iodine test kit by a representative from the Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (ITDI).

From 2011-2012, the TWG-NSIP already exerted a lot of efforts to ensure the quality of iodized salt in the country. Likewise, the approval of the Strategic Plan of the National Salt Iodization Program (NSIP) for 2011-2016 which was developed by the TWG, will guide the priority actions and activities in order to meet its goal of eliminating Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) in the Philippines. (NNC Regional Office I)