The Provincial Nutrition Committee of Negros Oriental is urging municipal mayors to shell out counterpart funds to augment the honorarium of their municipal nutrition action officers.
Assistant Provincial Health officer, Dr. Edgardo Barredo, yesterday said the provincial government has recently approved the P500 monthly honorarium for MNAOs, which serves as the provincial government's counterpart.
But Barredo said this is a meager amount, and there is a need for the municipal governments to give their own counterpart. “Any amount from the LGU, such as an additional P500, will be good enough to motivate our MNAOs to initiate nutrition-related activities in their areas,” he said.
Barredo said he plans to go around the province this February and meet with the mayors to convince them to allot counterpart funds for MNAOs.
Nutrition action officers are responsible for overseeing the implementation of nutrition programs in their areas down to the barangay level. “They will be required to submit annual nutrition action plans and quarterly accomplishment reports also,” Barredo said.
The honorarium for MNAOs from the provincial government, totaling P114,000, is part of the province's P1.3 million approved budget for the implementation of nutrition programs this year.
Barredo said the MNAOs have not been receiving any honorarium for the last few years. Before, the National Nutrition Council was giving an honorarium for them, but this was stopped a couple of years ago. “So this year, we are reviving their honorarium and included it in the provincial nutrition budget. I'm thankful that the provincial government approved the budget for them,” he said.
All municipalities in the province now have an appointed MNAO after Barredo met with the mayors urging them to appoint or identify their own nutrition action officers. “Usually, the municipal health officer is also appointed as the MNAO,” Barredo said.
Barredo added that the budget for nutrition programs has been increased for this year. Last year, the budget was only P950,000.*PIA
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