The municipality of Bansalan officially implements the RA8976 on rice. The program was formally launched on July 7, 2008 at Municipal Hall, Bansalan, Davao del Sur in celebration of the nutrition month with the theme "Sa wastong nutrisyon ni Mommy, siguradong healthy si baby!". The activity were attended by mothers with their children, traders, unit heads, officials, food handlers, law enforcer, and non-government organizations.
Bansalan is the first municipality of Davao del Sur that implements Food Fortification Program specifically the Iron Fortified Rice. According to the Municipal Health Officer, Dra. Capacio, the implementation of the said program is backed up with the national law, Republic Act 8976, otherwise known as Food Fortification Law of 2000 and Municipal Ordinance No. 350 and Resolution No. 305, S2004. Further she stressed, that almost "3% of pregnant women visiting the Municipal Health Center have Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)". It would be wise to ensure that pregnant mothers are healthy, iron supplement could be used to decrease IDA.
During the activity, the children were fed with vegetables and fortified rice. According to Ms. Arlene Bangahon, the Municipal Nutrition Action Officer (MNAO) the feeding was sponsored by the Holy Cross of Bansalan College Alumni Higschool batch 1983 while the Agri-Sense Enterprises represented by Ellen S. Laquihon distributed Iron Fortified Rice Premix to mothers. They were also educated on the benefits of using the Iron Fortified Premix especially the pregnant and lactating women.
Municipal Ordinance No. 350 Article 8 States "MANDATORY PRODUCTION, SALE AND USE OF FORTIFIED RICE, SUGAR, OIL, AND FLOUR IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF BANSALAN. It is hereby required of all manufacturers, importers, repackers, traders, and suppliers to manufacture, import, repack, and sell only fortified rice, sugar, oil and flour in the municipality of Bansalan."
The Local Government of Bansalan based on the said Ordinance section 6, appropriates one million (P1,000,000.00) pesos from the IRA of the municipal office to be used for the development and implementation of the local government food fortification program.
A municipal task force on food fortification program, will be monitoring all traders, millers, and food handlers. Section 7 of thesame article states that any violators of the ordinance maybe penalized "in the amount of not less than P2,000 but not more than P100,000.00 and revocation of Business Permit by the Local Chief Executive, without prejudice to other penalties, after due notice and hearing."
Among the first trader and millers who followed the ordinance were B&B Grains corner owned by Mr. Edgar Balunan and Arches Rice Mill. Food establishments like AJR's Luncheonette & Snack Inn also serves fortified rice only.
If you drop bye and eat in restaurants in Bansalan, you are assured that the rice is Iron-fortified. You can see posters in these food stablishments with captions of "LIKAYI ANG ANEMIA! PAG IRON FORTIFIED RICE NA!" which means PREVENT ANEMIA, USE FORTIFIED RICE NOW!
Bansalan will soon decrease itS Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) prevalence rate with the strict implementation of Municipal Ordinance 305 and with the help of all leaders, NGOs like HCBC Alumni, Cooperatives, Rural Improvement Club, Bansalan Cable TV, and Business Sector.
Cheers Bansalan Health Office and all stake holders.