The Department of Science and Technology–Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), DOST Regional III, DOST Bulacan, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs),and the local government units (LGUs) of Bulacan forged a partnership for adopting DOST-FNRI’s nutritious food technologies during the “Bringing in Resources for Everyone’s Agenda on Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaalaman at Kaunlaran sa Bulacan for the Malnutrition Reduction Program” (BREAK 4 MRP) at the Malolos Club Royale, in Malolos, Bulacan on September 22, 2022.
One highlight of the BREAK 4 MRP was the ceremonial signing of the Technology Licensing Agreements (TLAs) of seven (7) MSMEs in Bulacan as new DOST-FNRI technology licensees. Certifications as Licensees were awarded as well to 10 existing licensed technology adoptors in the province.
Said partnership prioritizes the inclusion of DOST-FNRI food technologies in the National Feeding Program of cities and municipalities in Bulacan.
Recognizing its role in helping address malnutrition in the country, the DOST-FNRI supports the National Feeding Program by developing nutritious food technologies for children.
There are thirty (30) DOST-FNRI food technologies that can be adopted by entrepreneurs who want to support and be part of the National Feeding Program.
Among these technologies are the Rice-Mongo and Rice-Mongo-Sesame complementary food blends and snacks, Enhanced Nutribun in squash, carrot, and sweet potato variants, Iron-Fortified Rice, Iodine-Rich Drinking Water, and Enhanced Micronutrient Growth Mix (MGM).
Currently located in Bulacan are eight (8) of the fourteen (14) existing licensed adoptors of Enhanced Nutribun and the only two Complementary Food Processing Facilities in Central Luzon.
These adoptors have been supplying the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and other LGUs outside the region with their nutritious food products.
However, some schools and LGUs that are not aware of DOST-FNRI food technologies are prioritizing other suppliers, who oftentimes do not produce fortified foods, as indicated in the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act or RA 11037. This leads to the non-inclusion of these nutritious and fortified food products in their feeding programs.
Thus, the BREAK 4 MRP event serves as an avenue to solve this barrier by promoting these DOST-FNRI food technologies among local chief executives and stakeholders, and include them in their National Feeding Program.
The event also strengthened awareness among existing licensed technology adoptors of DOST-FNRI who can supply these nutritious food products in their localities.
Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Resolutions in support of the DOST-FNRI’s Malnutrition Reduction Program and its technology licensees in Bulacan signed by LGU Malolos City and LGU Guiguinto were presented during the event to promote and encourage other LGUs to pass similar SB Resolutions.
A Manifesto of Support for the DOST-FNRI food technologies was also signed by the local chief executives and stakeholders’ representatives during the event.
For the opening remarks, Dr. Julius Caesar V. Sicat, Regional Director of DOST Region III, represented by Assistant Regional Director Ms. Belen Q. Garcia, welcomed DOST-FNRI and expressed gratitude to the Institute for selecting Bulacan to model the BREAK 4 MRP event. He underscored the big impact that DOST-FNRI’s technologies will contribute in combating malnutrition, not only in Bulacan, but also in the whole of Central Luzon.
“Malnutrition is a multi-faceted problem. It cannot be solved by one program alone. In order to address this, convergence of efforts by the national government agencies, local government units, and other relevant stakeholders such as DOST-FNRI licensees, who provide nutritious products to the people, are needed.”, said DOST-FNRI Director Dr. Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa in her message.
DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang also delivered a message of encouragement and support through a recorded message. “Ang ‘BREAK 4 MRP’ ng DOST-FNRI ay tumutulong na matugunan ang problemang pang-nutrisyon ng ating bansa. Ang DOST-FNRI ay tumutugon din sa National Feeding Program sa pamamagitan ng pag- develop ng mga masusustansyang pagkain mula sa kanilang mga food technologies para sa mga bata at iba pang mga indibidwal.”, said Usec. Mabborang.
In his Inspirational Message, DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr. emphasized the value of the use of science-based technologies and interventions and intersectoral collaborations among key relevant sectors in the continuous fight against malnutrition.
Moreover, DOST Sec. Solidum underscored the Department’s efforts in realizing its mission to direct, lead, and coordinate the country's scientific and technological efforts to maximize the Filipino's economic and social benefits which he dubbed as EARTHly public service that stands for Excellence, Aligned ambition, Respect, Trust, and Heart.
And heeding the call for continuous and more intensified collaborations for programs addressing various nutritional problems at the local level is Bulacan Governor Daniel R. Fernando.
“Malugod na tinatanggap ng probinsya ng Bulacan ang mga programa at teknolohiya ng DOST na naglalayong tugunan ang ating mga problema sa malnutrisyon. Ang mga programa at teknolohiyang ito ay napatunayang epektibo base sa mga pag-aaral. Makaka-asa ang DOST, DOST-FNRI, at DOST Regional Office III sa suporta mula sa probinsya ng Bulacan para sa adhikaing ito.”, Governor Fernando stated in his Message of Support and Encouragement via phone patch.
The new DOST-FNRI partners also gave their messages.
Ms. Deborah Gaye Dayrit-Estacio, Founder of Action Hub Philippines, Inc., was happy to share the impact that DOST has made among the lives of the program’s beneficiaries.
“1,270,300 pieces enhanced nutribun, 30,184 kilograms of kalabasa, 97,300 kilograms of rice-mongo complementary food blends, 383,200 packs of rice-mongo crunchies, 502,450 kilos of iron fortified rice, 2,659,994 juices made from natural ingredients like kamote, kalamansi, and honey, 300 farmers, 20-50 hectares of unattended land, 18 tribes of indigenous people, 20 community livelihoods and cooperatives, and more than 794 jobs generated. These are the initial impacts of what DOST, DOST Regional Office III, and DOST-FNRI has made into the lives of the community.”, said Ms. Dayrit-Estacio.
Meanwhile, Ms. Lenie Cuevas, Manager of Danrich Bakery, encouraged all the licensees in Bulacan to sustain the cooperation and efficient collaboration that they have built in order to provide nutritious food products in the communities of their region.
Lastly, Ms. Rita Gatchalian, Manager of Gintong Kusina Producers Cooperative, represented by Ms. Melanie Inocensio, expressed her gratitude to DOST for the programs and technologies they keep on providing to address various nutritional problems among Filipinos, while also giving jobs and livelihood to MSMEs, farmers, and cooperatives.
The event culminated with a closing remarks from Dr. Milflor S. Gonzales, Officer-In-Charge of the Office of the Deputy Director and Chief Science Research Specialist of DOST-FNRI. In her message, Dr. Gonzales highlighted the role that the technology licensees play in fulfilling DOST-FNRI’s mandate to diffuse and disseminate the Institute’s relevant and science-based nutritious food products and interventions to all regions of the country.
The BREAK 4 MRP was organized by the DOST-FNRI, DOST Region III, and the Provincial Science and Technology Office of Bulacan. This initiative recognizes and nourishes the importance of intersectoral collaboration in pushing for science-based technologies as innovative solutions in helping address malnutrition and factors like lack of sustainable livelihood that confound this multi-faceted development problem.
For more information on food and nutrition, contact:
IMELDA ANGELES-AGDEPPA, Ph.D.
Director IV and Scientist IV
General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City
Direct Line: 839-1839; DOST Trunk Line: 837-2071 local 2296 or 22848; 837
DOST-FNRI S&T Media Service: Media Release – NICHOLE M. BRISTOL & LEA B. LANDICHO