“I’m betting my position as mayor in our fight against stunting and other forms of malnutrition”.

That was the commitment made by Mayor Angelo Montilla when he agreed to make Tacurong a pilot city in the implementation of Urban Nutrition Governance Program of Zuellig Family Foundation and Nutritional International.

“I accept the challenge because I know I have the backing not only of the Sanggunian but by the barangays as well,” Montilla said.

The mayor said that under his term, he will make sure that nutrition programs take a front seat in funding prioritization.

“I’ll make sure that there will be a significant drop in cases of stunting and wasting among our children in the next two years of my term”, the mayor added.

Ten barangays are currently attending the second and last batch of training on Barangay Leadership for Nutrition and Development (BL4ND) held in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

Aside from punong barangays, participants to the training include barangay kagawads for health, midwives, barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholars, and barangay secretaries.

The barangays participating in this four-day training are Baras, EJC Montilla, New Passi, Lancheta, Griño, San Antonio, San Rafael, Calean, Tina, and San Emmanuel.

The city government started rolling out the BL4ND when it conducted the same training to the first ten barangays on December 9-12, 2019.

What is BL4ND?

BL4ND is one of the phases in the implementation of Urban Nutrition Governance Program of ZFF and Nutrition International, two non-government organizations providing technical and funding support to the program.

Tacurong is one of the only three pilot city-recipients of this program in the country, the two others being Tagum City and Puerto Prinsesa City.

The Urban Nutrition Governance Program is anchored on the framework of the newly enacted First 1,000 Days Law or Republic Act 11148 that aims to take care of the health and nutrition of pregnant women and babies under two years of age.

The program basically aims to dramatically reduce the number of stunting (pagkabansot) and thinness among children in the pilot cities.

Former Mayor Lina Montilla also served as one of the resource speakers in the training and passionately shared her experiences on bridging leadership program that helped her a lot in bringing positive outcomes on health programs in the city during her incumbency.

One of the outputs of the training is for the barangays to come up with an action plan on First 1000 Days program as well as to capacitate or re-organize their respective Barangay Nutrition Councils.

On the other hand, the Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by Vice Mayor Lino Montilla who also sits as chairperson of SP Committee on Health, has already committed to support the program. (ASFreno, LGU Information)