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TACLOBAN CITY, July 13 (PIA) – While Eastern Visayas records 30 percent or 53,000 stunted children aged 0-59 months old, the National Nutrition Council or NNC regional office 8 has committed to address the health issue, encouraging local government units to make concrete and budgeted activities in response to the said problem.

With the same focus, the 2020 July Nutrition Month celebration has the theme, “Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL..Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL! Iwas ALL din sa Covid-19”. This is to promote awareness and mobilize actions to address child stunting.

“We have to be aware of the negative impact of child stunting and give evidence-based solutions for the benefit of our children,” NNC 8 Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator, Catalino Dotollo, Jr. said during the “Suruswerte ha PIA” radio program with Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Regional Director Olive Tiu.

Dotollo added there is a need to stimulate the communities in the region and emphasize the issue on child stunting as one of the indicators for child malnutrition.

“We have to encourage our local government units and other stakeholders from the regional down to the barangay level, to invest on concrete and budgeted activities with proper monitoring, in order to minimize, if not totally eradicate this health issue. This is among the global health problems that need proper intervention,” the NNC Director added.

It was also learned during the discussions that of the region 8’s total record for child stunting, , 30 percent or 1 out of 3 children below five years old are stunted, a number closer to the national data which is 33 percent based on the Expanded National Nutrition Survey conducted in 2018.

In the region, Dotollo said that the province of Samar has the most number of cases, which maybe attributed to the terrain or geographical location of the area, with Southern Leyte having the least recorded cases.

During the program, the NNC 8 Director likewise stressed the importance of the first 1000 days of children, enjoining public especially parents to give focus on this, as this is a very crucial period for the children’s growth and development.

“The first 1000 days is very important. This is considered a critical window of opportunity because the services intended for them are already in place even before birth,” he said. “It is also during the first three months of these children where their development should be taken cared of and there are services needed especially for brain development,” he added.

In addition, Dotollo also gave recognition to the Barangay Nutrition Scholars or BNSs for their active role in ensuring good health not only for children, but for the general populace, as well.

“These BNSs are our local heroes and health warriors in the field. They do the technical and administrative work just to promote good health and balanced nutrition among our people. From weight and height taking up to home visits and admintration of health services, they can surely be trusted,” he said.

According to Dr. Dotollo, there are at least 4,290 active barangay health workers in the region, with at least one per barangay.

“These health workers are trained on basic health courses. Our office likewise offer them financial support such as 100 pesos per month, P5,000 medical assistance and P20,000 survivorship benefit. This is on top of the honorarium the barangay is giving them of which amount depends on the budget of the barangay itself, or the support provided by the municipality or province,” according to Dotollo.

He also informed that at present, the office is coordinating with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in institutionalizing the training needs of these health workers.

“TESDA will now be the one to train them so that they could gain national competencies like NC1 or NC2, which they could use if ever they land in other related jobs,” he said.

Meanwhile, PIA through the initiative of Director Olive Tiu, has launched the “Kusina ha PIA” during the “Suruswerte ha PIA” program. This is a series of cooking demonstrations with food cooked by Director Tiu herself, considering that July marks the Nutrition Month and the cooking events are being done to recognize NNC’s efforts in promoting proper nutrition.

“We believe in the NNC’s advocacy for good nutrition. As a humble gesture of recognition, we are launching the “Kusina ha PIA”, where we can help promote nutritious foods with minimal budget,” Director Tiu said.

In his final message, NNC Director Catalino Dotollo assured public that the government is implementing priority programs for the health and nutrition of the people, such as food security and provision of health services. (GTT/PIA-Leyte)


TACLOBAN CITY, July 11 (PIA) -- Authorized Person Outside of Residence (APOR) on official business who will travel from one place to another within Eastern Visayas shall be exempted from mandatory 14-day quarantine by receiving LGUs so that services will not be hampered.

This is among the protocols on proper management of Authorized Persons Outside Residence approved by the Region 8 Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID 19 during the joint RTF and IATF meeting on July 10 at the Leyte Park Hotel.

The resolution was proposed by the Health Cluster led by the Department of Health Region 8.

Also, among the protocols is that “Concerned Agency/ies of APOR who belong to uniformed personnel that require them to go on duty for 14 days or more are also advised to provide temporary quarantine house for all Off-Duty Personnel.

Another, is that all APOR coming from outside Eastern Visayas shall be allowed entry depending on the purpose of travel as reflected in the Travel Order.


The Region 8 Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID 19 approves protocols on proper management of Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR)  during the joint RTF and IATF meeting on July 10 at the Leyte Park Hotel, Tacloban City. (PIA-8)



TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, June 27 (PIA) -- Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has approved to temporarily suspend the return of Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) to Region 8 in response to a joint resolution submitted by the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (RIATF-MEID) and the Regional Task Force for COVID-19.

The joint resolution stated that the implementation of the temporary suspension of inbound travel by land, sea or air, of LSIs will take effect 12:01 a.m. of June 28 to 12 midnight of July 9 while outbound travel from Region 8 to other parts of the country as well as entry of returning Overseas Filipinos to the region shall be allowed provided that required documents are complete.

During the recent visit of DILG Secretary Año and Chief Implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez in Eastern Visayas, local government units in Eastern Visayas have aired their concerns to the national officials as many quarantine facilities are already full.



TACLOBAN CITY,  July 8 (PIA) -- Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla assured Leyteños that there are enough isolation centers in the different municipalities of the Leyte province that are  ready for use should there be confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.

Petilla even said in an interview that the quarantine facility identified by the province has not even been used, considering that Leyte towns have their own isolation facilities for their respective constituents.

However, the governor assured that the Leyte Provincial Quarantine Facility located at the Leyte Academic Gymnasium in Pawing, Palo, Leyte, is anytime ready to accept Persons Under Isolation (PUIs) and Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs), should there be such identified cases.

“We have enough quarantine facilities in the province. In fact, we have not even used the identified provincial isolation center at the Leyte Academic Center, considering that all municipalities have their own facilities,” he said. He added, “This isolation center is always ready anytime needed, though.” 

According to Petillla, his office is regularly coordinating with the national government and has been assured of support, especially in these trying times of pandemic.

“We are constantly communicating with the national government through the National Inter-Agency Task Force, and they are always there to support us,” he said.

The Leyte governor likewise stressed that the provincial government has committed to provide all the medical needs of the health workers in the province, in their battle against the disease.



TACLOBAN CITY, June 25 (PIA) -- Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez informed Taclobanons that there is no need to panic amid the increasing number of COVID-19 in the city, but cooperate instead and strictly observe the health protocols prescribed by the Department of Health, to avoid the spread of the disease.

“There is no need to panic as we have done the necessary protocols so as to manage the cases. The city has provided a hotel as isolation facility for the medical workers of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center or EVRMC. This is our assistance to the said health institution, considering that most of the health workers who tested positive of the virus are residents of the city,” Mayor Romualdez said in a press briefing.

Romualdez added that the families of the affected health workers were already tested and almost 99 percent of them got negative results.

He said the city has also assigned a quarantine facility for the frontliners of the Tacloban City Health Office, adding that no cases of the city’s health workers have been noted.

Romualdez said they also contracted another hotel and have utilized two evacuation centers as quarantine facilities for the returning Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) who have no capacity for home quarantine.