For Mothers and Infants: SP to adopt RA 11148 to address healthcare needs
By Jason B. Neola
A mechanism that aims to address the health and nutrition problems among children, pregnant women and lactating mothers is what the Committee on Children at the Naga City Sangguniang Panlungsod is working on.
In a privilege speech on Tuesday, March 22, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod, City Councilor Elmer Baldemoro said that based on Philippine Statistics Authority, 4,844 Filipinos died of malnutrition last year which is higher by 37.85 percent compared to 3,514 in 2020.
He said that although Naga is on top in terms of sustainable programs dedicated to cater child nutrition, there are still significant prevalence rate of underweight children in some barangays of the city. “In the 2021 data of City Population and Nutrition Office, 1.33 percent or 299 Nagueño children are underweight,” he said.
For a number of times since the time of the late city mayor, Jesse Robredo, the city of Naga has been a recipient of the Presidential Award for the Most Child-Friendly City. The latest of which was conferred in 2019 under the leadership of Mayor Nelson Legacion.
Baldemoro, who is in his third and final term as city councilor, emphasized the importance for the city council to create a wider policy on nutrition that will directly benefit infants as well as adolescent females and mothers in their first 1,000 days of life.
He also pushed for the adoption of RA 11148 by legislating an ordinance that will address incidents of malnutrition especially in pregnant and lactating women, infants and young children in the city.
RA 11148 was signed into law to scale up the national and local health and nutrition programs through a strengthened integrated strategy for maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life.
The law also mandates the training of health and nutrition workers, the conduct of psychosocial stimulation, and provision of other assistance that each stakeholder may offer.
Aside from the nutritionally-at-risk adolescent mothers, women of reproductive age, and children who are newly born up to age 24 months, the programs and services contained in the ordinance shall also cover all pregnant and lactating mothers deprived of liberty and housed in the Naga City District Jail regardless of their place of residence including those who are staying in charitable institutions in the city.