In observance of Nutrition Month and National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, we are launching the 
First National Social Media Day for
Folic Acid Awareness
July 18, 2016 (Monday). 

Rationale of #FolicAcidPH

  • There is a need to increase the awareness of the Filipino public in the importance of folic acid in the prevention of birth defects, specifically neural tube defects.
  • There is a need to promote consumer awareness and interest on checking the nutrition labels of food products and supplements, in general.
  • Disability prevention begins prior to conception. Aside from preventing disability, infant deaths due to severe NTDs such as anencephaly (incomplete development of the brain) and craniorachischisis (most severe NTD, incomplete development and closure of the brain and spinal cord) are also averted.
  • The tagline “For yourself. For your future” highlights the importance of folic acid to everyone’s health, as well as its value in giving each child the best start in life. 
  • There is a proposed legislation on folic acid fortification and supplementation set to be filed in the 17th Congress, and public support for this legislation will be important.

Everyone needs folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin, specifically Vitamin B9. Our bodies use it to make new cells. Folic acid is also very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby's brain and spine, also known as neural tube defects. Neural tube defects (NTDs) may result to infant death, dysmorphology (deformity) or disability. In some kinds of NTDs, corrective surgical procedures are needed in order to improve the quality of life of patients. 

Studies have shown that the intake of folic acid or vitamin B9 through supplementation and food fortification can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). In case of supplementation, proper dosage and intake schedule can lessen the risk of NTDs by up to 70%. 

Moreover, a daily intake of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid is recommended since folic acid is a water soluble vitamin. Regular consumption will ensure that its amount in the body will be replenished. On the other hand, for folic acid to help in preventing NTDs, a woman needs to start taking the vitamin at least one month before she becomes pregnant and while she is pregnant. Every woman in the reproductive age needs folic acid every day, whether she’s planning to get pregnant or not. 

In the Philippines, awareness on the significance of folic acid supplementation among Filipino women in reproductive age is presumed to be low. Furthermore, folate deficiency has been determined to exist. According to the 7th National Nutrition Survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-DOST, 1 in every 5 pinays of childbearing age is folate deficient. Hence, there is a need for increasing public awareness on this matter, especially in the absence of a legislation for folic acid fortification, supplementation and public education.

Main Objective of #FolicAcidPH

To increase public awareness on folic acid and its important role in the prevention of neural tube defects through a social media campaign. 

Disclaimer: #FolicAcidPH is a non-profit health promotion activity. It does not aim to promote any specific brand or product (supplement or fortified food) nor receive any form of support from any food or pharmaceutical company. 

Why July 18? 

Aside from the two aforementioned national observances, the date is special to Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Philippines since it is the network’s founding anniversary. 

VYLH-Philippines is a national collaboration of youth leaders of youth organizations in universities and communities in the Philippines. This novel undertaking is part of an international effort to establish the March of Dimes - Global Network for Maternal and Infant Health (GNMIH) participated by youth counterparts in China and Lebanon linked by the common interest of volunteerism and public service to improve birth outcomes worldwide through advocacy. 

It was on the night of July 18, 2009 when 78 volunteer youth leaders representing 43 youth organizations accepted the challenge of promoting folic acid awareness as one of the health advocacies of the network.

Suggested Activities

  • Conducting a discussion on the importance of folic acid among organization members
  • Requesting organization members to like the Official Campaign Facebook page (
  • Supporting the #FolicAcidPH Thunderclap (
  • Posting suggested status messages in Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #FolicAcidPH
  • Sharing infographics posted in the official Facebook page 
  • Creating advocacy Fansigns 
  • Organizing an advocacy Photobooth and Thunderclap Sign-up areas
  • Networking and recommending the campaign to other Youth Organizations

Suggested Tweets and Status Messages

Everyone can make their #FolicAcidPH tweet and status update.  Just don't forget to add our campaign "#FolicAcidPH". Below are some of the campaign's suggested messages. Feel free to copy and paste in Twitter and Facebook.

Folate and folic acid refer to the same vitamin (B9) which is important for good health and in preventing neural tube defects #FolicAcidPH

Folate (Vitamin B9) is a water soluble vitamin.It is excreted regularly from the body.Hence, we need to replenish it regularly #FolicAcidPH

Did you know? EVERYONE needs folic acid for good health, most importantly women in the reproductive age #FolicAcidPH #NDPRW

Did you know? There are three sources of folate in the diet: natural food folates, fortified foods and folic acid supplements #FolicAcidPH

DYK?The Philippines is one of the 85 countries mandating wheat flour fortification, however our law does not include folic acid #FolicAcidPH

From the countries mandating flour fortification,the Philippines is one of 5 countries which do not fortify flour w/ folic acid #FolicAcidPH

Did you know? Folic acid supplementation can reduce the risk of Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) significantly.  #FolicAcidPH #NDPRW

Neural tube defects are problems in the development of the baby's brain and spine which can lead to death and disability #FolicAcidPH #NDPRW

DYK? The intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid daily can prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects by up to 70% #FolicAcidPH #NDPRW

Prevention is better than cure. Consult your doctor before having a pregnancy. Ask more information about folic acid  #FolicAcidPH #NDPRW

Quick Guide on joining the #FolicAcidPH Thunderclap

2. Click "Support with Facebook" 
    and/or "Support with Twitter"
3. Click "Add My Support".
4. Click "Authorize App" to allow Thunderclap to post the message on your behalf.

When supporting the campaign using Facebook, thunderclap asks to access your "Friend List". According to the FAQ, Thunderclap needs to access your "Friend list" in order to calculate social reach for Facebook. The app assures campaign supporters that it will never interact with your friends' accounts, store their information, or post on their behalf.

After these, Thunderclap will be able to publish the #FolicAcidPH post on your timeline on July 18.

To learn more about Thunderclap, visit

STEP 1: Like our Campaign Facebook Page

STEP 2: Join the #FolicAcidPH Thunderclap
STEP 3: Youth Organization Application

Interested youth and youth groups are
welcome to join #FolicAcidPH

 Application Form    PDF      WORD  

 Concept Proposal   PDF       

STEP 4: Download Campaign Materials
Tarpaulin Display (Standee, 5x2)
Email vyl_philippines for the file

Youth for Health Official Publication of VYLH