Mandaue adopts law mandating feeding of undernourished children

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TO COMBAT malnutrition in Mandaue City, the City Council passed a resolution adopting Republic Act 11037, an act institutionalizing a national feeding program for undernourished children.

The Mandaue City Council approved the resolution sponsored by City Councilor Nerissa Soon-Ruiz during the 124th regular session on Sept. 15, 2021.

In an interview, Ruiz endorsed the resolution as a member of the local nutrition committee, saying she deemed the law to be applicable in the city’s situation and be implemented at the local level.

Ruiz said she is preparing to endorse a draft ordinance to allocate a budget for the nutrition programs in Mandaue City.

The councilor does not want the City to depend on the budget from the National Government in addressing the existence of malnourished children in the city.

Ruiz said the City received an allocated budget of less than P1 million from the National Government for the nutrition program, which she said is not enough. The local lawmaker thus found the need to draft an ordinance to allocate a P5 million annual budget for the nutrition program, after passing the resolution.

Before formulating the programs to be implemented in Mandaue City, Ruiz said they need to determine the percentage of malnourished children in the city.

Ruiz said she does not have the data yet as to the number of identified malnourished children in the city; however, Ruiz said Barangay Paknaan has the most malnourished children, particularly those living near the coastal area.

Most of the severe undernourishment in children happened from infancy up to two years old, and most of them are not breast-fed since their mothers are away for work, said Ruiz.

Prior to the adoption of RA 11037, Ruiz said the City already had existing programs implemented in the city, one of which was selecting severely malnourished children. This program provides severely malnourished children with their needs particularly food and vitamins, and the parents are invited to a seminar on the proper way of preparing healthy food for their children. (KFD)

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