Iodine Global Network (IGN)

Philippines: public encouraged to buy iodized salt

The public should buy salt bearing the warning "Saktong Iodine sa Asin" and the DOH seal on the package, said Philippine Health Undersecretary Kenneth Hartigan-Go. His request comes one day after the DOH announcement that salt sold in the market is poorly iodized or not iodized at all.

“There are several factors contributing to this occurrence, such as lack of monitoring by regulatory agencies considering the layers of trading and complex supply distribution modalities,” he said.

“So next time people buy table salt, they should look for ‘Saktong Iodine sa Asin’ seal on the packages and even on the sacks of salt being sold in takal or retail in the markets.”

The Saktong Iodine sa Asin is a quality seal for table salt to address iodine deficiency, a major health problem in the Philippines. Based on the 2013 National Nutrition Survey (NNS), 16.4 percent of people aged 6-12 have “mild to moderate deficiency.” This is an improvement from the 2008 NNS of 19.7 percent. The proportion of households using iodized salt is only 71 percent, of which only 25 percent is using adequately iodized salt.