Davide to increase BNS incentives

In recognition of their vital role in fighting malnutrition, Governor Hilario P. Davide III and Vice Governor Agnes A. Magpale swear to increase the cash incentives of barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) by next year.

Davide made the announcement during the 4th Barangay Nutrition Scholars Summit organized by the Cebu Provincial Nutrition Council (CPNC), Cebu Provincial Barangay Nutrition Scholar Association and Provincial Health Office held last week in Danao City.

Currently, barangay nutrition scholars of the Province receive P2,400 a year, given every December.

“By next year duna nay increase ang inyong incentives. Among trabahuon ni Vice Gov. Magpale. Ang para karong tuiga naa naman for distribution this December but for next year, there will certainly be an increase,” said Davide.

Over 1,000 BNS from 38 towns and eight cities joined the summit with the theme “Build nutrition now, save the lives of our children”.

“You are the unsung heroes. You made sacrifices and contributed a lot to your barangay in the name of public service,” expressed Davide.

To help combat malnutrition, the Provincial Government is providing easier access to maternal and child care services and is upgrading its hospitals facilities to accommodate more people.

The CPNC is also eyeing to distribute free food supplements to children in towns where the number of malnourished kids is high.

Unknown to many, Magpale, a nutritionist dietitian by profession, revealed the person who inspired her to do community service for the less-privileged as her way of showing appreciation for volunteers like BNS.

She said her professor in her master’s degree studies in the United States had prodded her to serve the poor communities.

“She was my inspiration. She was assigned in Ghana Africa as volunteer and went to far-flung places to help the malnourished children. She showed us pictures of them and once advised me to do community nutrition,” she said.

Several activities were lined up by organizers in the one-day event.

These included a discussion on proper nourishment of babies in the first 1,000 days handled by physician and nutritionist Danson John De Castro of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

In commendation for their outstanding work, five barangay nutrition scholars basked in glory after receiving awards from the CPNC for the first time.

Among the awardees were Chereyvie Galeos of Argao town (1st), Asenia Taboada of Badian, (2nd), Arlinda Manigos of Balamban (3rd), Marieta Soreno of Consolacion (4th), and Mariagina Batausa (5th).

The winners each received a plaque and cash prize. (Kelvin Cañizares, photo by Donald Moga)