Salinas’ and PH’s Salt Iodization Program

Posted on Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 and is filed under Feature. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

In 1992, the Philippine Government made a commitment to uphold the goal of Universal Salt Iodization because of the alarming rate of Iodine Deficiency Disorder throughout the country.  The Department of Health invited all salt producers in the country to iodize the salt they are producing. The largest salt producer in the Philippines, Pacific Farms, Inc. (in Bolinao, Pangasinan), which is capable of supplying 20% of the total salt requirements of the country, agreed to adopt the program for social concern.

 

Its marketing arm, Salinas Foods, Inc., was tasked to make FIDEL Iodized Salt and ASIN Pinoy Iodized Salt available nationwide. Different social programs like “Adopt a School Breakfast Feeding Program” (in partnership with the Department of Education), advocacies to different local government units, organizations and non-government organizations were conducted extensively. The common objective was to eliminate Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) like goiter, low IQ, cretinism, physical and mental retardation.

 

The success of this government–private sector partnership led to the signing of the Republic Act 8172 or ASIN Law (An Act on Salt Iodization Nationwide) on December 20, 1995. This was a major step to end that silent but tremendous nutritional problem called Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD). The Salt Iodization Program since geared towards the elimination of IDD to achieve having a healthier, more intelligent, empowered, and globally competitive breed of Filipinos.

 

What has been done in the Salt Iodization Program?

Since 1993, Salinas Foods, Inc. followed its commitment to implement the Fortification for Iodine Deficiency Elimination (FIDEL) Program. It laid down a big share of investment in order to roll the full machinery of this program. It began with conducting advocacies to different government organizations, local government units, non-government organizations, private individuals, local and foreign investors with the help of DOH and Philippine Information Agency. It also supported promotions from TV, broadcast, print and other promotional materials. In 1995, it conducted a nationwide search for the most outstanding field offices of the Department of Health and Philippine Information Agency in relation to the implementation of the FIDEL Program. This was dubbed as Masigasig Award, and was primarily aimed to motivate the health sector to join this program.

 

In line with these efforts, Salinas did not only create awareness but gave livelihood as well. As a major factor for the success of the FIDEL program, the availability of iodized salt products was given priority. The DOH through the help of Salinas opened the gateway for a new business for the Filipinos—selling of iodized salt. Salinas’ expertise as a marketing company made this thrust successful despite some rejections because of low profit. Salt, as perceived by many Filipinos is a very low value commodity, as described in the common phrase, “Asin lang yan (It’s just salt).” This was one factor why many programs in the past did not succeed. Such perception however did not stop Salinas from paving the way to success. With the strong determination to help and reach the whole Filipino people, Salinas is now distributing FIDEL Iodized Salt and Asin Pinoy Iodized Salt from North Luzon to Southern Mindanao. Many success stories can be told from people who became dealers and distributors of iodized salt. They are teachers, cooperatives, community health workers, government employees, canteen operators, doctors, businessmen, nutritionist-dieticians, housewives, market vendors, and many more. From nothing, Salinas created income; and from these entrepreneurs’ existing income, other benefits were added on.

The support of the small-and-medium entrepreneurs as well as the clients and users gave Salinas a strong foundation to give more than just livelihood. In 1997, Salinas signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Health to sponsor the Breakfast Feeding Program, which is a one-year breakfast for first grade pupils nationwide. The objective was to provide the schoolchildren with nutritious food and improve their health status. According to the Education department’s earlier study, many schoolchildren come to school without having breakfast, which resulted to low productivity. “We believe that in helping these children, we are already helping our country,” Salinas management officials said.

From there on and in this new millennium, Salinas is continuously supporting the Salt Iodization Program of the Department of Health.  Until now, not more than 50% of the Filipino population use iodized salt daily, however, Salinas workers and entrepreneurs look forward to an eventual Iodine Deficiency Disorder-free Philippines. (Ref:  Pacific Farms, Inc.; Salinas Foods, Inc.)

Comments are closed.

Photo Gallery