Among the highlights of the recently concluded 3rd National Conference of Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) was the conferment of the Long-serving Award to BNSs who have served their communities for at least 30 years as of 2014. A total of 304 BNSs qualified for the award and were each presented with a certificate of appreciation and cash incentive. Of the 41 longest-serving BNSs awarded for 36 years of service, Ms. Generosa P. Cabrestante of Palawan was the eldest at 82 years of age. She was followed by Elsa C. Pacurib of Laguna, 77 years old, and Salvacion L. Cariño of Zambales, and Teodora N. Rocha of Mabalacat City, both 75 years old.
The Guidelines for the Conferment of Service Award to long-serving Barangay Nutrition Scholars was approved on 12 September 2014 by former Health Secretary and NNC Governing Board Chair Enrique T. Ona. The longest serving BNS award is NNC’s tribute to BNSs’ committed service to the nutrition program. The award was conceptualized on the occasion of NNC’s 40th anniversary and aims to 1) provide incentives to BNSs for their loyal service to the program; 2) encourage continuous and dedicated service among BNSs to the cause of nutrition; and 3) recognize people supportive of the nutrition program.
The quality of service provided by the National Nutrition Council has once again been recognized. NNC’s “10 Kumainments” radio plug was one of the finalists during the 23rd Golden Dove Awards of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) under the Best Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) Award category.
The “10 Kumainments” radio plugs are being aired during NNC’s Katumbas Ay Biyaya radio program over DZRH AM 666 Khz. The “10 Kumainments” radio plugs encourage Filipinos to have healthy diet and active lifestyle for the prevention of non-communicable diseases.
Since the launching of the 10 Kumainments last October 2014, the NNC has been airing television and radio plugs over national television and radio stations. Since then, the NNC has been receiving commendations and positive feedback from different sectors.
The awarding ceremony was held on 28 April 2015 at the Star Theatre, Pasay City.
The KBP Golden Dove Awards aim to recognize individuals and institutions that have contributed to the advancement of the broadcast industry and to elevate standards of excellence and professionalism in the broadcast industry among others.
BNS are the frontliners in providing basic health and nutrition services in the communities. Once again, almost 4,000 BNSs across the archipelago met in a biennial national conference hosted by the National Nutrition Council of the Department of Health in partnership with the LuzViMin BNS Federation, Inc.
The biennial 3rd National Conference of Barangay Nutrition Scholars had four sub-conferences for the entire month of April. The first event got off the ground at the Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila in Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City on 7 -8 April for the National Capital Region and Southern Luzon Regions (CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and Bicol). The Northern Luzon sub-conference (BNSs from Regions 1, 2 and 3 and Cordillera Administrative Region) convened at the Vigan Convention Center in Vigan City on 15-16 April; the Visayas sub-conference (BNSs from Regions 6, 7 and 8) gathered at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel on 22-23 April; while the Mindanao cluster (BNSs from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, CARAGA and ARMM) had their conference at the KCC Convention and Events Center in General Santos City on 28-29 April.
This year’s theme – “BNS: Bigay Todo sa Nutrisyon at Serbisyo!” of the national conference underscores the role of BNSs in the delivery of nutrition and related services to improve the nutritional status of families in the barangays.
The National Nutrition Council’s radio program Radyo Mo sa Nutrisyon and its hosts, Assistant Secretary of Health Maria-Bernardita T. Flores (A/Sec Bernie Flores) and Rod Marcelino, were recognized as Best Development-Oriented Talk Show and Best Development-Oriented Talk Show Hosts at the 9th Gandingan Awards, respectively. The awards are two of the Core Awards given during the awards night held on 21 March 2015 at Dioscoro L.Umali Hall, University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Radyo Mo sa Nutrisyon is a nutrition block time radio program of the NNC aired over DZXL AM 558 kHz, every Saturday at 12:30-1:00 PM. It is anchored by the excellent tandem of A/Sec Bernie Flores and Mr. Rod Marcelino, one of DZXL’s seasoned broadcasters. The radio program discusses various concerns particularly on nutrition, health, social protection, food security, poverty reduction and other related issues.
Gandingan is an award giving body, facilitated by the UP Community Broadcasters’ Society, that recognizes efforts of different people, programs and materials from the broadcast industry in both the national and community level. The award has three major categories: Special, Core and General Awards. The Core Awards is the newest category that gives recognition to development-oriented community- and school-based broadcast stations, programs and professionals.
Assistant Secretary of Health and NNC Executive Director Maria-Bernardita T. Flores explained that this year’s Nutrition Month will focus on overweight and obesity. The 2015 Nutrition Month campaign aims to increase awareness on the role and importance of proper nutrition and physical activity in the prevention of overweight and obesity among the general public. It also aims to encourage Filipinos to make positive decisions towards consumption of healthy diets and be physically active to prevent non-communicable diseases as a result of overweight and obesity.
A/Sec. Flores further noted that more and more Filipinos, especially adults are becoming fat. Among adults 20 years old and above, the prevalence of overweight and obesity increased from 16.6% in 1993 to 31.1% in 2013. Actually, “women tend to be fatter than men with the prevalence at 34.4% for females and 27.5% for males.” Aside from the use of weight for height as a measure of obesity, the high waist circumference and high waist hip ratio among adults has also been increasing. The same trend was noted among preschoolers and school-aged children. Currently, overweight and obesity prevalence among children is at 5% while among teenagers it is at 8.3%. Analysis of the 2013 national nutrition survey results showed that children who belong to wealthier families tend to be more overweight and obese than those coming from poorer households. While these figures are a cause for concern, it is to be noted that undernutrition (underweight, stunting and wasting) is also a major problem. Thus, the country is faced with the so-called double burden of malnutrition. Overweight and obesity is also a risk factor to non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Despite significant advancements in recent years, many countries in Southeast Asia still face the triple burden of malnutrition – undernourishment, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity.
To address the long standing problem of malnutrition, the Philippines’ National Nutrition Council (NNC) will host the 2nd ASEAN Nutrition Surveillance Workshop-Conference to pursue the establishment of an ASEAN Nutrition Surveillance System, where delegates from the 10 ASEAN member-states are set to meet on 24-28 February 2015 in Makati City.
The objective of the project under the program “ASEAN Collaborative Project on Nutrition,” is to promote the sharing of information along challenges and good practices in improving nutrition condition, measuring progress using key indicators, and harmonized methodology toward attainment of regional and global goals through an ASEAN Nutrition Surveillance System Strategic Plan.
This process of nutritional surveillance can facilitate decision-making in relation to current and future policies, and direct targeting for health, nutrition and general development programs. Surveillance information can be utilized to promote actions that will alleviate or prevent malnutrition in the population on the individual, family, community, national and within the ASEAN region.
Participants of the said workshop-conference will include delegates from the ASEAN member states namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Representatives from the United Nations and the ASEAN Secretariat will also be part of the delegates to the workshop-conference, where resource persons from UNICEF, World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will provide technical updates on global nutrition goals, strategies and indicators.
The establishment of the nutrition surveillance system in the ASEAN is only one of the few events in the global and regional arena that has renewed its commitment for nutrition improvement. Among other events are the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition and the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Global Gathering both held in Rome in November 2014, and the ASEAN Task Force Meeting on Maternal, New Born and Child Health (ATFMCH) on 11-12 December 2014 in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand.
These programs have identified nutrition as one of their priority concerns for policy advocacy to address today’s major nutrition challenges and priorities for enhanced international cooperation on nutrition.
Hygeia B. Gawe (843.5824/ 0918.921.5166)
Ellen Ruth F. Abella (843.5824/ 0920.824.9413)
Almost a hundred participants from the 25 Nutriskwela community radio stations in 15 regions across the country and NNC technical staff from the central and regional offices attended the conference. This year’s Nutriskwela Conference provided a venue for the community radio stations to be updated on nutrition interventions and share experiences along the use of the radio station in disaster and emergency management, promotion of nutrition and along community development. Mr. Louie Tabing of Tambuli Foundation also known as the Father of Community Radio in the Philippines discussed the basic concepts of community radio operations. It was also noted during the conference that the prevalence of underweight in the areas where the community radio stations are located has improved over recent years.
In her message during the opening program of the conference, Assistant Secretary of Health and NNC Executive Director Maria-Bernardita T. Flores emphasized the importance of the Nutriskwela community radio stations opening up and maintaining linkages with LGUs and other community-based organizations, especially for those campus-based stations. A/Sec Flores also announced that NNC will be expanding the Nutriskwela network to another 10 stations this year. She added that the Nutriskwela program continues to grow stronger since it started in 2008.
The Nutriskwela Community Radio Network program is a long-term, cost efficient strategy to address malnutrition in areas with high prevalence of malnutrition and without or limited access to commercial radio by disseminating correct, current and relevant information on nutrition, health, food, and from all sectors of the community, the national government agencies, and non-government organizations.