“I urge the mothers to make it a habit to have their child drink milk,” Mayor Nerivi Santos-Martinez underscored in her message during the launching of a milk feeding program last November 14 at Brgy. Pinagpaanan gymnasium, Talavera, Nueva Ecija.
The collaborative effort of Talavera’s local government unit (Talavera-LGU) and PCC targeted 100 children, ages 4-6 years old, from Pinagpaanan and Dimasalang Norte.
According to municipal health officer Arjhay Bernardo, the initiative is geared towards addressing malnutrition problem in Talavera by making sure that the children drink carabao’s milk.
The feeding will last in the span of one month. Fresh buffalo milk in 200ml packets will be supplied by the Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperatives (NEFEDCCO), which is being assisted by PCC.
“This milk feeding program will not only make children healthy but also contribute to the livelihood of dairy farmers who will provide the milk,” said Dr. Eric Palacpac, PCC Knowledge Management Division chief.
He added that Talavera and PCC have been partners for a long time on similar activities and that the approval of RA 11037 or the “Masustansiyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act” paved way to the institutionalization of milk feeding program in the country.
Meanwhile, Mayor Martinez said that in Talavera, NEFEDCCO and DVF farm both usher the progress of carabao’s milk as One Town, One Product or OTOP. She also proudly shared the news that the town was dubbed as one of the most child-friendly towns in Nueva Ecija.
NEFEDCCO is organized from selected dairy cooperatives in Nueva Ecija and it collects as well as processes carabao milk-based dairy products. DVF dairy farm, on the other hand, is a private milk processor whose market includes Nueva Ecija, Metro Manila, Pampanga and Cebu.
Earlier this year, the 12th Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival was hosted by Talavera. It highlighted the ceremonial cutting of a white cottage cheese made from 400kg carabao’s milk from PCC.