DOST NegOr PSTD Atty. Gilbert Arbon (2nd from right) sat down with (left to right) PIA NegOr InfoCen Manager Jennifer C. Tilos, Mr. Jason Sy of Saint’s Baked Delights and Dr. Emma Mate of DepEd Division of Negros Oriental for the recent Kapihan sa PIA session to introduce enhanced nutribun to clients and stakeholders.

Dumaguete City, February 16- The Department of Science and Technology here in Negros Oriental, in partnership with the local Philippine Information Agency, brought together potential clients and stakeholders in the enhanced nutribun production thru Kapihan.

Atty. Gilbert R. Arbon, Provincial Science and Technology Director of DOST Negros Oriental, sat down with PIA NegOr InfoCen Manager Ms. Jennifer C. Tilos, Senior Education Program Supervisor Dr. Emma Mate of DepED Negros Oriental Division and Mr. Jason Ian Sy, proprietor of Saint’s Baked Delights to discuss the much-awaited enhanced nutribun for its Kapihan sa PIA Session. Also in attendance are representatives from the Dumaguete City Nutrition Action Office, DepEd Dumaguete City Division, Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, barangay health workers, punong barangays and the local media.

“What is enhanced nutribun? It is developed by DOST FNRI considering the nutrient requirement of children. They added natural color and flavor, softer in texture and contains vitamin A and other micronutrients. Similar to the old nutribun, it has 500kcalories and 17g of protein…has zero trans-fat and zero cholesterol,” narrates Atty. Arbon.

Atty. Arbon stressed that the enhanced nutribun is the agency’s answer to help the government address the malnutrition problem especially among children.

He further said that the enhanced nutribun was “an answer to the call of the time” particularly DSWD Memo Circular No. 12 Series of 2020 and DOH Nutrition Cluster Advisory No. 2 series of 2020.

Saint’s Baked Delights is the sole licensee of the enhanced nutribun technology in the province of Negros Oriental. Mr. Sy narrated how his firm was able to secure the license to produce the enhanced nutribun.

“First, we are a client of DOST through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program… Our company signed the Technology Licensing Agreement after passing the stringent assessment of DOST FNRI….Our company together with other firms nationwide attended a 2-day virtual training on the production of enhanced nutribun. On the same month, DOST FNRI issued a certification to our firm as an official licensee of the said technology…. On November 2020, the National Nutrition Council Region 7 through is local field officer inquired on how we can supply enhanced nutribuns for their feeding program for pregnant women. On December 2020, we were able to soft launch in Negros Oriental, Siquijor and Cebu,” said the proprietor of Saint’s Baked Delights.

Sharing the issue on the enhanced nutribun production, Mr. Sy said that there is currently a shortage of supply and increase in the price of the suprema squash – a vital ingredient in making enhanced nutribun bun.

To answer this need, DA Negros Oriental Agricultural Planning Coordinating Officer (APCO) Sarah J. Perocho said she would link Saint’s Baked Delights to farmers who might supply suprema squash.

Dumaguete City Nutrition Action Officer Lourdes A. Taburaza, on the other hand, expressed intent to incorporate enhanced nutribun in the coming months for the city’s feeding program for pregnant women and children.

Dr. Emma Mate of DepEd Division of Negros Oriental and Ms. Kathryn Culi of DepEd Division of Dumaguete City plans to include the enhanced nutribun in their school-based feeding program.

On another development, Engr. Reinhold Jek Y. Abing of DOST Negros Oriental also shared that DOST Negros Oriental through its coordination with the local National Irrigation Administration was also able to link Saint’s Baked Delights to local farmers as potential supplier of suprema squash. This was made in order to mitigate the negative impact of the high market price of suprema squash in the production of enhanced nutribun.

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of DOST (DOST-FNRI) pursuant to its mandate, undertook to create and develop technologies to make nutritious, safe and affordable food products and transfer these food technologies and products for commercial production and distribution in order to improve the nutritional status of the Filipino population, in particular the nutritionally-at-risk. Thus, FNRI developed the enhanced nutribun technology.

Kapihan sa PIA is a weekly multi-sectoral forum organized by Philippine Information Agency as part of its strategies in communicating important government programs to the public. Official government line agencies are provided an opportunity to present their development programs before representatives of various sectors in the province. The highlight of the Kapihan is the open forum where both parties can discuss on important matters related to the topic presented by the speakers. The Kapihan is based on the usual morning practice of discussing main issues over a cup of coffee. ( By: Engr. Reinhold Jek Y. Abing, SRS II/DOST NegOr S&T Media)