BAGUIO CITY, (PIA) - - Regional line agencies that compose the Cordillera Bantay ASIN Task Force will push for stronger partnership among stakeholders to increase awareness and use of iodized salt and to ensure iodization of salt being sold in the region.
In a forum last February 20, the task force members agreed to press for stronger ties among member agencies, local government units in the six provinces and Baguio city, salt traders and salt repackers in line with their goal to achieve 100 percent awareness and usage of iodized salt among Cordillerans pursuant to the ASIN Law and the National Salt Iodization Program (NSIP).
Bella Basalong of the National Nutrition Council in the region shared that based on the 2011 Food and Nutrition Research Institute survey, awareness on iodized salt among Filipino households stands at 78.7 percent but national average of usage is only 59.3 percent.
For Cordillera, FNRI data shows an 89.3 percent awareness, while usage of iodized salt is at 73.3 percent.
At the provincial level, awareness on iodized salt is high at around 92 percent in Benguet and Mountain Province but low as 60.5 and 70.7 percent in Kalinga and Apayao, respectively.
For usage, Kalinga posted the highest average at 79.6%, followed by Benguet at 77.8%. Abra posted the lowest usage at 50.1%.
Such statistics, prompted the regional ASIN Task Force to re-convene with the Department of Health as the lead agency and NNC as the governing board. Other member agencies are the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Education, Technology Research Center, Department of Education, national Economic and Development Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine Information Agency and Philippine National Police.
National Nutrition Council Region 3 headed by Ms. Rhodora G. Maestre, Nutrition Program Coordinator (NPC) of Region 2 and Officer in Charge, NPC of Region 3, led a Special Meeting to welcome the newly appointed Nutrition Program Coordinator, Ms. Florinda V. Panlilio on February 17, 2014 at Tiburcio Conference Room, Heroes Hall, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
Highlighted by the turnover ceremony of leadership from OIC-NPC Maestre to NPC Florinda V. Panlilio, NPC Maestre mentioned that this welcome and endorsement meeting was the first ever held for a newly appointed NPC and she hopes it will set as a model for the other regions. She introduced the new NPC, Ms. Florinda V. Panlilio as a “kapampangan”, a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian, very demure, kind and a hardworking person. She also mentioned that NPC Panlilio being a former staff of DOH-HEMS in Central Office has honed her expertise in Nutrition in Emergencies.
In her acceptance message, Ms. Panlilio stated that, “considering that this will be my first day with NNC Region 3, I appreciate this generous effort of bringing the network together thereby giving me the chance to meet all of you at once”. She remarked that ”this made my life certainly easy as this freed me from a number of courtesy calls to make”. She also stressed that in order for her to be familiarized with the nature of her new work, she needs the help and support of the Regional Nutrition Network. She is thankful to be back in her mother region, Central Luzon.
Meanwhile, exiting OIC-NPC Maestre, in her message, expressed her gratitude towards the Nutrition Action Officers, District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators, Regional Technical Working Group and Media Partners of NNC Region 3 for their help and support during her 6 months stay as OIC-NPC of NNC Region 3. According to her, along with the numerous learnings and accomplishments, she will leave Region 3 with a lot of memorable experiences and a solid working relationship with Central Luzon. She further said that while she has already achieved her mission in Region 3, “It is not goodbye for me, because Regions 2 and 3 are sister regions that is why I will be here anytime to help and support the implementation of the nutrition program in Region 3”.
The National Nutrition Council formulated its very first strategic plan for web operations during its Web Team and Regional Publishers’ General Assembly and Capacity Building Workshop, a first among government agencies. Headed by NNC Executive Director and Website Manager and Editor A/Sec. Maria-Bernardita T. Flores, the formulation of the strategic plan for 2014-2016 highlighted the 3-day workshop, held on 12-14 February 2014 at Hotel 878, Libis, Quezon City.
A/Sec Flores, during the opening program, underscored the importance of the world wide web as a powerful medium for promoting good nutrition. She emphasized that having a strategic web and social media plan will be a very productive and cost-effective way of advancing NNC’s advocacies. She further encouraged the participants to capitalize on the existing technologies and web applications to make NNC more visible to the public.
Meanwhile, with new standards and guidelines for government websites and opportunities for online advocacies, the general assembly were updated on current social networking practices and oriented on web article writing and publishing. The NNC guidelines on Web management was also discussed to ensure harmonized management of its website and social network accounts.
Participants of the 3-day activity are members of the NNC Web Team, representing the different units of the NNC Central Office and designated web publishers of the NNC Regional Offices.
Congratulations to newly-hired Nutrition Program Coordinators Ma. Eileen B. Blanco for NNC-Region 1, Rita D. Papey for NNC-CAR, Florinda V. Panlilio for NNC-Region III, Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr. for NNC-Region VIII and Marissa DM. Navales for NNC-Region X.
And to officially welcome the 5 NPCs, the National Nutrition Council through the Administrative Division organized an orientation from 11 to 13 February 2014 at the NNC Board Room. To break the ice and make the newly-hired NPCs comfortable, a round of self-introduction of both resource persons and the NPCs was held.
Assistant Secretary of Health and NNC Executive Director Maria-Bernardita T. Flores personally welcomed the NPCs to their new home. She also introduced the NNC, its rich history, the evolution of its mandates and functions and the range of programs NNC is responsible for. She highlighted NNC’s vision, mission and core values which govern its operations. She specifically discussed the operations of the office of the executive director and its leadership, management and oversight functions.
ASec. Flores was joined by NPC Milagros Elisa V. Federizo of NNC NCR who discussed the responsibilities of and expectations from NPCs through a walk-through of regional operations. The chiefs of the five NNC divisions completed the orientation team and given half a day each, discussed the role and functions as well as the programs and projects of their respective divisions.
A tour of their new home and its facilities, and meeting their new colleagues and now friends, completed the 3-day introduction.
28-31 January -- Assistant Secretary of Health and National Nutrition Council Executive Director Maria-Bernardita T. Flores together with Nutrition Officer II Ralph P. Calucag of the Nutrition Information and Education Division conducted an unannounced monitoring of Radyo Katilingban in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat and Radyo Kasadya in President Roxas, Cotabato.
The monitoring visit intended to check whether the Nutriskwela stations are working according to station policy and broadcast policy prescribed by the Nutriskwela Community Radio Network Program of the NNC. The visit was also intended to determine if Radyo Katilingban and Radyo Kasadya remain compliant to the rules and regulations of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
Nutrition Program Coordinator of NNC-Region 12 Arceli M. Latonio accompanied the monitoring team to Tacurong City and President Roxas, Cotabato. Assistant Secretary Flores and NPC Latonio met and discussed with Radio Station Managers Mr. Alfredo Lucas and Dr. Ruby S. Hechanova of Radyo Kasadya and Radyo Katilingban, respectively, on how the Nutriskwela Community Radio Program helped in disseminating nutrition and related information. Issues in the management of the radio station, state of radio equipment and counterpart of partner institutions were likewise discussed. Feedback of the visit in the form of an accomplished monitoring checklist was presented before the team left the station. Copies of the report were left with the station, the station manager, Honorable Mayor Jaime H. Mahimpit of President Roxas and President Dr. Teresita L. Cambel of Sultan Kudarat State University and NPC Latonio for reference on follow-through actions.
The NNC Secretariat held its first quarter Information Sharing Session (ISS) on 5 February 2014 at the NNC Board Room. Ms. Maria Lourdes A. Vega, Nutrition Officer V and Chief of the Nutrition Policy and Planning Division (NPPD), presented the “Guidelines on Local Nutrition Planning” developed by the NNC. Ms. Vega presented a brief history on how nutrition planning evolved from the 1970s to the present; considerations in the formulation of the guidelines such as changes brought about by devolution and the harmonization of local development planning.
The guidelines consisted of the following: 1) objectives; 2) definition and importance of local nutrition planning; 3) timing and activities of plan formulation; 4) mobilization; 5) situational analysis; 6) setting plan’s goals and outcome objectives; 7) selecting interventions and developing the workplan; 8) preparing the monitoring and evaluation plan; 8) plan packaging; 9) approval of the plan; 10) translating the LNAP into an Annual Investment Plan; 11) submission to the Local Planning and Development Office; and 12) Setting the plan to action. The guidelines will be presented to the NNC Governing Board for approval prior to dissemination for field use.
22 January 2014, Manila -- The National Nutrition Council, as member of the Thyroid Council of the Philippines (TCP), joined the launching of the 8th Goiter Awareness Week (GAW) celebration. This year’s GAW theme “Goiter Sugpuin, Isip Patalinuhin, Iodized Salt Gamitin” follows the 2013 theme to continually raise awareness on combating and eliminating Iodine Deficiency Disorders among Filipinos.
The morning activity was conducted at the Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School
11 January 2014, Guimaras – Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator (RNPC) Nona B. Tad-y of National Nutrition Council (NNC) Region VI, met with Guimaras Representative JC Rahman Nava, requesting support for the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) Program.
As Senior Vice-Chair for the Committee on Appropriations - House of Representatives, a former Governor of Guimaras, and a medical doctor by profession, Congressman Nava can lead and generate support from other legislators to address the needs and concerns of the BNSs. Among the BNS’s concerns raised by NPC Tad-y include the lack of security of tenure; limited health insurance; insufficient, irregular or inconsistent financial compensation from the local government units and the inadequate support from the barangays to attend trainings/seminars, as well as lack of logistics and mobility to carry-out their tasks.
Through this advocacy effort, NPC Tad-y is hoping to generate the much needed support for the BNS Program through the formulation of policies and ordinances, allocation of funds, and approval of pending policy recommendations relevant to the BNS Program, among others.
The Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) Program is a human resource development strategy of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition, which involves the recruitment, training, deployment and supervision of volunteer workers or barangay nutrition scholars (BNS). Presidential Decree No. 1569 mandated the deployment of one BNS in every barangay in the country to monitor the nutritional status of children and/or link communities with nutrition and related service providers. PD 1569 also mandated the NNC to administer the program in cooperation with local government units.
To facilitate the achievement of NNC’s mandate, vision, mission and contribution in the promotion of the nutritional well-being of Filipinos, NNC, with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish NNC’s Quality Management System (QMS), a significant step in NNC’s journey toward ISO 9001:2008 certification.
In June 2013, Special Order No. 013 authorized the creation of the 20-member QMS Core Team from the NNC divisions, regional offices and Office of the Executive Director. The Core Team attended several technical sessions to develop an in-depth understanding of the systems requirements, structure and QMS documentation.
As part of the 4th Management Conference for CY 2013 on 9 December 2013, the QMS Core Team members presented the successful and satisfactory completion of QMS documentation, a requirement for the ISO 9001:2008 certification. These QMS documentation consisted of the NNC Quality Policy, Quality Process Map, Quality Manual and NNC Mandatory Procedures. Assistant Secretary of Health and NNC Executive Director Maria-Bernardita T. Flores approved and signed said documents.
Mr. Arnel D. Abanto, DAP Vice President and Managing Director of DAP’s Center for Quality and Competitiveness, witnessed the launching and signing of these ISO QMS documents, together with Ms. Arlene Castillo, DAP’s Project Manager for NNC, all Nutrition Program Coordinators, Nutrition Officers III and other senior staff.