Maam Joan Article

JULIUS CARMELO A. PARCAREY RN MSN

The province of Quezon has 9 District Nutrition Program Coordinators (DNPCs) to oversee the province with 41 cities and municipalities and 1,242 barangays in total. This translates to large program coordination among Local Government Units (LGUs) in all levels and numerous paper works with rigorous monitoring and evaluation of nutrition programs that are implemented.

While stereotyped image of nutrition workers might conjure with disheveled overworked government employee circumnavigating tons of paperworks in the office, today, nutrition workers instead are more vibrant, creative, revolutionary and inspirational. Program leaders and local government units are increasingly interconnected thus, nutrition workers are linked within communities. Nutrition workers can truly be change agents in helping communities come together to address a myriad of challenges with local solutions and bringing the voice and needs of each community forward. The revolution made by nutrition workers are impressive considering the nutrition sector field is more understaffed. Yet far from being the victim of these conditions, Quezon nutrition workers showed more empowered than ever before. For instance, Quezon Provincial Nutrition Office managed to visit all municipalities thrice in a row for for its annual provincial MELLPI, considering the geographical adversities in Quezon. 4 days a week for 4 months of continuous immersion in the municipalities proved to be difficult but nonetheless endurable just to deliver necessary evaluation on municipal programs. These challenges add to the unceasing efforts of the Provincial Government to elevate nutritional status of Quezonian children throughout the years.

Today, nutrition workers play a vital role in decreasing malnutrition level in the province through program monitoring, evaluation and implementation. But somewhere along the line nutrition workers are not merely employees but also workers for social change which is celebrating the change that they opted to be.

Kalayaan BSG GA

16 May 2018 – In order to strengthen and intensify advocacy for exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding in the municipality of Kalayaan, the Kalayaan Breastfeeding Patrol Support Group conducted a general assembly at the Macy’s Events Place in Barangay Longos, Kalayaan, Laguna. A total of 107 mothers including the new members of the group attended the general assembly, who were oriented by the regional offices of the National Nutrition Council and the Department of Health, as well as staff of the Rural Health Unit.

Mayor Leni M. Adao formally opened the event by welcoming everyone and proudly sharing about her own breastfeeding experiences to her four (4) children who are now successful in their respective professions. She said that all her children were breastfed until 2 years old or even more. Ms. Carina Z. Santiago, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of National Nutrition Council – CaLaBaRZon, gave a keynote message that highlighted the strategies on how Kalayaan can improve its efforts towards being a mother-baby friendly community. She acknowledged the efforts of the LGU to establish the breastfeeding support group starting in 2014, and further strengthening and increasing the efforts of the support group to date. Ms. Minnie Agana, Midwife I, and Ms. Edelane Acueza, Nurse II of Kalayaan, Laguna presented the Breastfeeding TSEK: Tama, Sapat at EKslusibo which tackles the importance of breastfeeding, busting myths about it, and the common problems being experienced by the mothers and the remedies for the problems. Ms. Suzette Espallardo, Nutrition Program Assistant, Department of Health – CaLaBaRZon, discussed the complementary feeding and the importance of timely and adequate introduction of complementary feeding to their babies. Mr. Edzell Arcinue, Nutrition Officer III of National Nutrition Council – CaLaBaRZon presented the TSEK Forms which are to be used by the members of the support group to further improve their report submission and records keeping.

To ensure that knowledge was truly imparted to the participants, a Nutri-quiz was conducted. Questions were derived from the topics discussed. The mothers gladly participated and answered questions. Prizes from the National Nutrition Council, Department of Health and the Local Government Unit of Kalayaan, Laguna were given to the winners.

Vice-Mayor Laarni Lopez closed the event by thanking everyone for their participation and sharing her hopes for the success of the support group. The event was spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office of Kalayaan, Laguna through Hon. Mayor Leni Adao, with the assistance of the Municipal Nutrition Action Office of Kalayaan, Laguna through MNAO Dina Ramiro. The Kalayaan Breastfeeding Patrol Support Group is one of the best practices of the municipality. Kalayaan will be awarded the 1st Year Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) Maintenance Award during the 2018 National Nutrition Awarding Ceremony in July. (Edzell M. Arcinue)

QUEZON PPAN LAUNCH

As a commitment during the Regional Launching of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022 in 2017 in Manila, the Quezon Provincial Government held its own provincial launching on 31 January 2018 at the Queen Margarette Domoit, Lucena City with more than 100 nutrition stakeholders present.

These stakeholders were composed mainly of the members of the Quezon Provincial Nutrition Multisectoral Committee (PNMC), 41 City/Municipal Nutrition Action Officers (C/MNAOs), District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators (D/CNPCs) and Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs).

The launch was highlighted by a discussion of PPAN 2017-2022 by Nutrition Officer III Lourdes B. Orongan of NNC Calabarzon stressing the new PPAN programs namely nutrition specific, nutrition sensitive and the enabling mechanisms.

PNAO Roberto D. Gajo in his message said that the Hon. Governor David C. Suarez is one with the country in fighting malnutrition and proof of this is the Quezon’s banner project – the Quezon’s First 1000 days Program or the Q1K Program with over millions of funds allocated for its implementation. He said that the province is taking seriously the problem of stunting and does not want more children to suffer from it. Hence, he said it is one of the reasons why the province has decided to do the program province-wide and cover all the municipalities. Adding to his statement that he encourages the municipalities to do their share in addressing all the malnutrition problems in their respective areas.

The members of the PNMC also gave a brief solidarity message in support to the new PPAN 2017-2022 implementation. All attendees signed in the solidarity wall pledging support to the new PPAN and visit the PPAN exhibit of the nutrition specific programs, nutrition sensitive programs and enabling mechanisms.

CAN Quezon

5-9 February 2018 – The National Nutrition Council (NNC) and Alcanz International, a team commissioned by NNC to develop a Compendium of Actions on Nutrition (CAN), visited the Province of Quezon to compile success stories, good practices and lessons learned from performing local government units (LGUs) in nutrition. Quezon was among the 11 LGUs selected nationwide for the case studies which are high-performing LGUs in nutrition and are either current or past nutrition champions, whether awarded the Green Banner, Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) Award, and Nutrition Honor Award.

The visit involved the conduct of focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and document review with different key persons in nutrition in the province, different sectors and committees involved in nutrition as well as two (2) municipalities in the province, namely: Atimonan and Lopez. They also interviewed the members of the Provincial Nutrition Multisectoral Committee (PNMC) and the Quezon’s First 1000 Days Program (Q1K) Technical Working Group as they were highly involved in the nutrition program management of the province.

During the last day of the visit, a CAN Exit Conference was attended by the PNMC Core Group, the Provincial Nutrition Action Office staff, and was graced by Hon. David C. Suarez, Governor of Quezon, his wife, Rep. Anna Villaraza-Suarez, ALONA Partylist, and Ms. Carina Z. Santiago, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of NNC-CaLaBaRZon. Gov. Suarez and Rep. Suarez gladly provided inputs and shared how their “bedtime” talks translated in strengthening the nutrition programs in the province. They also shared anecdotes on how they come up with their own nutrition programs in the province. Their passion for public service and nutrition was reflected as they shared the list of their travels, and conferences attended to not only learn about nutrition and nutrition program management, but share their experiences, as well.

Dr. Celestino F. Habito Jr., Case Study Writer, presented during the exit conference their findings during their visit in the province. He shared that the team gladly identified “shining” elements in Quezon Province. The team commended the leadership, governance, and political will of Gov. Suarez in really pursuing nutrition programs in the province, as well as the holistic aspect of the province as they knew that the Province of Quezon was awarded by various national agencies in 2017. Human resources for nutrition was also identified as a key factor in the success of nutrition programs in the province as staff for nutrition at the provincial, municipal, and even the barangay level were designated all over the province. Also, the budget allocation and investments in nutrition were seen to have really helped in the implementation of their nutrition programs. All of these were also supported by different policies at the provincial level. In addition, program beneficiaries and other nutrition stakeholders had their ownership of different nutrition programs as they were highly participating in the implementation of the programs. Of course, their participation had been recognized by Gov. Suarez during his State of the Province Address in 2017, and the awarding of nutrition champions in the province.

The development of CAN is one of the strategies identified by the National Nutrition Council in the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN 2017-2022) to mobilize and strengthen the capacities of LGUs throughout the country particularly in formulating comprehensive plans of action, making informed decisions and adapting best approaches for successful local level implementation of PPAN.

nobns article 4a pic12 December 2017- Ms. Irene B. Neulid of Barangay Maitim 2nd East, Tagaytay City won the 2016 National Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar award, a back-to-back win with last year's NOBNS Mr. Danilo N. Posion of Barangay Iruhin Central, Tagaytay City, held during the National Nutrition Awarding ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center, Manila.

Ms. Neulid is a BS Nursing graduate, a loving wife, and a mother to her 3 kids. Though a neophyte in the field of nutrition, she has shown serious dedication as a nutrition volunteer in her barangay and have implemented exemplary nutrition programs, projects and activities which contributed to the reduction of malnutrition in their community. To name a few, she was able to develop information and educational materials like booklets focusing on the First 1000 days which were given to pregnant and lactating women; collateral materials such as mugs, clock and fan advocating the 10 Kumainments and Pinggang Pinoy given during the Pabasa Sa Nutrisyon and other nutrition classes. She is also a role model of infant and young child feeding as she is breastfeeding her 14-month old son. She also boasted on the remarkable nearly 100% breastfeeding rate or practice in their barangay.

CALAMBA CITY LBATF

13 February 2018- the City Nutrition Committee (CNC) of Calamba organized their Bantay Asin Task Force (BATF) – the first among the cities in the region during the 1st CNC meeting held at the DILG Conference Room, Calamba City Hall.

Calamba CNC Vice-Chair, Director Lenie R. Bautista, City DILG presided the said meeting on behalf of Honorable Mayor Justin Marc SB. Chipeco.

RNPC Carina Z. Santiago of the National Nutrition Council discussed the importance of addressing the Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD), the National Salt Iodization Program (NSIP), the terms of reference in the creation of local BATF including the composition, roles and responsibilities of each members and functions of the local BATF as a whole. She mentioned that the government is now campaigning for “adequately iodized salt” and not just iodized salt which can be determined through the SISA seal or the Saktong Iodine Sa Asin seal.  She also encouraged them to pass an ordinance or resolution to strengthen the creation of the BATF and include sanctions for the offenders if possible.

The meeting ended with an awarding of the WYD checker by the NNC Calabarzon through the Unicef/DOST as an incentive for the city being the first to organize a local BATF in the region and to enable them to monitor the quality of salt present in the public markets, groceries and other major salt suppliers.

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