WITH the aim to “Keep the Philippines Smiling,” Colgate-Palmolive Philippines Inc. officially launched the Philippine Anti-Cavity Campaign (PACC) in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and local government units (LGUs) during an activity held at Buena Park Clubhouse in Caloocan City on Monday.
Caloocan, one of the biggest cities in the country was chosen as the first recipient of the campaign, with a total of 300 children and 300 parents who participated in the on-ground activities like oral health education, tooth brushing drills, free dental check-ups, and fluoride application.
During the launching, the beneficiaries received food, kits, and gift packs. They were also treated to a photo booth, puppet show, and face painting, among others.
Two dental vans, of Caloocan and Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, were also parked at the venue.
Colgate-Palmolive Philippines will also conduct a follow-up check-up for the beneficiaries of the PACC within the year, cementing Colgate's commitment to keep the Philippines smiling.
It will ensure that there is progress or improvement in oral health while providing check-ups, fluoride application, toothpaste, and toothbrush samples for each visit.
Arvind Sachdev, general manager Colgate-Palmolive Philippines said, “We get to bring more smiles across the Philippines with the launching of PACC as it is considered to be one of the biggest grassroots programs of Colgate this year that aims for better oral health among the Filipino families in the country.”
The PACC initiated by the company known for the distribution of household products and personal care products and has celebrated 90 years of operations in the country on October 26, 2016, is also an awareness campaign to promote oral health among Filipinos.
With the help of its valued partners, Colgate-Palmolive Philippines is set to bring the PACC to day care centers and public schools across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Jay Custodio, associate director, Oral Care, Colgate-Palmolive Philippines Inc., said they are targeting 1,000 pupils from kindergarten to Grade 3 each in 100 public schools nationwide that would be the beneficiaries of the program this year in partnership with DepEd.
Simultaneously, the company will also partner with LGUs to also benefit the same and to further expand the programs to reach 100 public health centers, he added.
“We are hoping to be a catalyst of change in the Philippines and give more smiles to Filipinos,” Custodio said.
He added that Colgate-Palmolive Philippines Inc. has been active on-ground with several programs to provide a brighter future for Filipinos like the “Bright Smiles, Bright Futures” program that aims to promote oral health nationwide.
The Colgate Scholarship Promo, about to run on its third year this year, provides a chance for Filipinos to win P100,000 scholarship money which they can use for educational expenses.
At present, the company has awarded 55 P100,000 scholarship money grand prize winners.
On behalf of Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Rizalino Rosales, director of Bureau of Learner Services, School Health Division of DepEd, expressed their appreciation to Colgate-Palmolive Philippines for recognizing the need and addressing it in order to build a future for school children and the country.
Rosales cited the 2006 National Oral Health Survey showing that 97.1 percent of six-year old children and 78.4 percent of 12-year old children suffer from dental carries or tooth decay.
One cannot underestimate the pain of school children who suffer from tooth decay adding to the various reasons why many of them would not report to school, he added.
Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan said the City Government also aims ensure that proper nutrition and oral health are being provided to his constituents through the mobile dental clinic from the Department of Health.
The city has 120 elementary public schools with 170,000 kindergarten to Grade 6 pupils.
The city has been partnering with Colgate since 2008, wherein the company has complementing their programs and providing them technical assistance and training.