NEDA Regional Office 3, in partnership with the Organization of NEDA Employees (ONE), Department of Health (DOH), National Nutrition Council (NNC), Commission on Population and Development (CPD) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) held a Community Outreach Program in Barangay Mawacat, Floridablanca, Pampanga last 11 August 2022.

In-keeping with this year’s Nutrition Month theme of improving nutritional status in the new normal, brief lectures on nutrition and health-related topics such as the COVID-19 vaccination program and the A.B.C.D.E. of avoiding early pregnancy were provided by NNC, DOH, and CPD. 

Barangay Mawacat, home to a community of Aetas, is considered geographically isolated and disadvantaged. Rice and the cooking pots were given by NEDA/ONE and friends to 350 Aeta families. Barangay Captain Marilou Bacani and Mr. Joey Saplala of NCIP-Floridablanca expressed gratitude for the group’s visit and gifts. Ms Bacani said that the cooking pots were what the community really wanted and they appreciated them.

The Philippine Air Force from the 5th Fighter Wing, Basa Airbase transported the goods and helped in distributing these to the community.

With the active participation of different government agencies, generosity of individuals, and constant support of IP leaders, the activity was a resounding success. For the volunteers, seeing the smiles of Aeta women, men and children was enough reward.

(Liezl Joyce V. Mangalindan, NEDA 3-PFPD)