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DOST says nutribun can help achieve Healthy Pilipinas goal

Children and their parents in Barangay Indangan, Kidapawan City, waited patiently to receive enhanced nutribuns from the Department of Science and Technology in Cotabato headed by Provincial Director Michael Ty Mayo. The distribution of the enhanced version of the nutribun is one of the commitments of the DOST in support of the city government’s caravan, tagged as Kabarangayan Dad-an ug Proyekto ug Serbisyo (KDAPS), and the national government's goal of Healthy Pilipinas. (Photo courtesy of DOST-Cotabato)

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato Province (PIA) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the Soccsksargen region is confident that its enhanced nutribuns will address the attainment of the government’s goal of a Healthy Pilipinas.

DOST Cotabato Provincial Director Michael Ty Mayo believes that “good nutrition is an important component of not only raising a well-nourished community but, more importantly, promoting the goal of the government of achieving Healthy Pilipinas.”

He said the enhancement of the nutribun is consistent with Republic Act 11037, or the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act, which supports the feeding programs of the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Both agencies' feeding programs offer the DOST’s nutribuns, which are tastier and healthier as they are packed with nutrients required for a child's growth to combat malnutrition.

The nutribun, or “Nutrition in a Bun,” originated from the nutribun, which is a bread product used in elementary feeding programs in the Philippines in the 1970s and 1990s.

DOST personnel facilitated the distribution of enhanced nutribun to children lining up in a queue in one of the Serbisyong Totoo caravans of the provincial government of Cotabato held in Barangay Ganatan, municipality of Arakan in Cotabato. (Photo courtesy of DOST-Cotabato)

According to the study, nutribun began as part of the Food for Peace Program of the United States Agency for International Development and then later became an integral part of health programs for children by various local governments in the country.

In 2020, DOST launched the enhanced version of the nutribun, which contains more micronutrients like iron and vitamin A.

Today, the nutribun has three available variants: carrot, squash, and sweet potato, which are good sources of vitamins and minerals for a sound mind and a healthy body.

Mayo said that bakers of nutribun are bound by a "technology licensing agreement" with the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), prohibiting them from making any changes to nutribun.

Meanwhile, in Cotabato Province, bakeshops and small-time bakers have also adopted the nutribun technology, making it their primary source of producing nutritious bread, which they supply to schools or even for civic feeding. 

DOST-Cotabato Provincial Director Michael Ty Mayo (in a navy blue jacket) met with Breadcart Bakeshop and Coffeeshop owner Reynaldo Delos Reyes (in a blue shirt) as the latter toured the DOST team in his newly constructed facility where DOST-funded equipment was housed. Delos Reyes is a beneficiary of the agency's P1.6 million worth of technology assistance under its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program, or SETUP. The bakeshop is a licensee of the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) for the production and commercialization of enhanced nutribun. (Photo courtesy of DOST-Cotabato)

Reynaldo Delos Reyes, owner of the Breadcart Bakeshop and Coffeeshop in Kidapawan City, is one of DOST’s beneficiaries of the technology transfer on the enhanced nutribun.

Delos Reyes narrated that he started the nutribun training in September 2021, and through the DOST’s Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), he was provided with the necessary equipment to enhance his bakery’s operation and boost its nutribun or bread production.

“We adopted the technology on nutribun because it is nutritious bread and a reminiscence of a childhood school feeding, from which we usually get the bun for 10 cents,” he said, remembering about his fondest memory when he was a child with the nutribun feeding.

He added that the DOST has tapped their bakery every time there are school or civic feeding programs in Cotabato.

“If there is a school feeding, we produce 10,000 pieces of nutribun per shift, and this augmented our sales,” Delos Reyes disclosed.

For him, nutribuns are good food to feed to children in schools, expressing the belief that it is tantamount to raising healthy children for the country’s future.

Children, accompanied by their parents, waited in excitement for the DOST team to distribute the enhanced nutribun during the "Kabarangayan Dad-an ug Proyekto ug Serbisyo" of the city government of Kidawapan, held in Barangay Indangan, in this city. DOST strongly supports the government's fight against hunger and malnutrition in the country. (Photo courtesy of DOST-Cotabato)

Delos Reyes emphasized that DOST intervention has made a tangible impact on their business and has also helped in turning their business into a venue to contribute to the government’s efforts to address hunger and malnutrition.

In Soccsksargen, the Regional Development Council also backed small and medium enterprises that make e-nutribun, recognizing their pivotal role in strengthening feeding programs in its four provinces and four cities.

Soccsksargen is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, and Sarangani as well as the cities of Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, and General Santos. (SJDM - PIA Cotabato Province)

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