COTABATO CITY—Bangsamoro education minister Mohagher Iqbal emphasized the essential benefits of having good health and practicing proper oral hygiene for children and adults during the culmination of the 17th National Dental Health Month Celebration in the region on Monday.
With the theme “Paigtingin: Oral Health for Juan and Juana sa Gitna ng Pandemya”, the celebration also carried the tagline of the Philippine Dental Association dubbed “Brush at Floss Kontra Tooth Loss, Be proud of your Mouth”.
Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 559 signed by President Macapagal Arroyo dated February 24, 2004, the Philippine Dental Month is observed every February of the year to strengthen public awareness on the importance of good oral health.
In his message read by Special Asst. to the Education Minister Abdullah Salik Jr., Iqbal stated that under the 12 priority areas of Bangsamoro Government’s Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE), the ministry aimed to implement comprehensive health and nutrition programs for Bangsamoro students and school personnel.
“Every Bangsamoro learner has the potential to do well in their studies. If we continue to promote the importance of oral hygiene to our students, we contribute to their growth and development and help them attain a life full of possibilities,” Iqbal said.
He also reminded the Bangsamoro workforce to prioritize their physical, mental, and social well-being, and told them to “inspire the young people to make healthy choices, even at a young age.”
During the month of February, the MBHTE conducted two online activities for elementary and secondary learners who showcased their talents on Poster Making and Healthy Smile photo contest.
For elementary level, a pupil from Tenorio Elementary school of Maguindanao II Division got 2nd place, Datu Halun Laboratory Elem. School from Tawi-Tawi garnered 1st place, and Cotabato City Central Pilot School was hailed as champion.
For secondary level, 2nd place for Pagawayan National High School in Lanao del Sur II, 1st place got by ARMM Regional Science High School Mag. II, and best in poster making for Datu Paglas Nat’l High in Maguindanao I.
Meanwhile, for Healthy Smile photo contest exclusively for elementary kids, 2nd place for Datu Sailila Central Elementary School Mag. I, 1st place for Datu Halun Laboratory Elem. School from Tawi-Tawi, and best in a healthy smile for Barith Elementary School in Lanao del Sur I.
Awardees from each category, received cash prizes, certificates of recognition, and gifts from the ministry. Plaques of appreciation were also awarded to the coaches of the participants.
Furthermore, the ministry also turned over some dental and medical supplies for the Schools Division Office of Cotabato City under Dr. Concepcion Balawag.
MBHTE Deputy Minister Haron Meling concluded the event and incorporated the dental health celebration in the realm of Islam as a religion that was founded on cleanliness and stated the hadith of Prophet Mohammad (SWT), which says “being clean in body and in spirit is half of one’s faith as a Muslim.” (Bangsamoro Information Office)