Koronadal City, South Cotabato – The National Nutrition Council (NNC) XII facilitated the conduct of Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (RBATF) XII meeting on October 12, 2016 at The Farm, Koronadal City to discuss the result of the Salt Monitoring activities in February and September, 2016 and the updates on food fortification in the region.

The RBATF is the monitoring arm in the implementation of Republic Act No. 8172, Series of 1995, an Act Promoting Salt Iodization Nationwide.  Iodine Deficiency is a major health problem of the Filipino which, if not addressed, will impact in mental and physical development of a person.   Consumers are encouraged to patronize salt product bearing the quality seal   of “Saktong Iodine sa Asin” in their packaging.

Salt Monitoring Findings/Observations

The monitoring was conducted randomly to check if salt sold in the market contained at least 30-70 ppm of iodine micro-nutrient.    In February 2016, the RBATF visited various public markets, sari-sari stores and malls in Sarangani Province and General Santos City.   Of the nine (9) stores monitored in Sarangani Province, only two (2) sellers passed the required standard that sold Master Chef brand (usually sold in “takal”).   While in General Santos City, there were thirteen (13) sellers visited.  It was found out that those sold in malls has the required iodine content in salt while those in public markets/sari-sari stores had less or below the required iodine content.

In September 2016, monitoring in  Cotabato Province, Koronadal City, Sultan Kudarat and  Tboli, South Cotabato found out that some sellers sold salt with less or even negative iodine micro-nutrient.  On the other hand,   Barangay Nutrition Scholars, through NNC XII, sell Asin Pinoy salt containing 117 ppm, the highest level of iodine content recorded in the said monitoring activities.

Food Fortification

Food fortification is considered important in augmenting nutrient deficiency in the diet of most Filipinos based on the present-day needs using the recent Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA).   Ms. Lilian Mationg of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) XII announced that Matutum Oil (Polomolok) and CLG rice repacker (General Santos City) applied for license to sell oil and rice fortified with Vitamin A and iron in the region.   In support to the implementation of the Food Fortification Law, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) XII provided financial assistance to CLG repacking to buy the machine for food fortification.  (Evie A. Cabulanan, NEDA XII-DRD)