CARAGA News and Upcoming Events

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The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), is the lead agency in food and nutrition research and development in the country. One of its missions is to provide innovative technologies to fight malnutrition. In Caraga Region, the municipality of Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte is a recipient of DOST PINOY (Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children). DOST PINOY is a component of Malnutrition Reduction Program which aims to reduce the prevalence of undernutrition among infants and young children. The local government’s counterpart for the said project is to provide building/space for the processing area, the needed manpower and ingredients/materials to produce the DOST-FNRI developed complementary food products.


To start up, the FNRI-DOST conducted a 2-day DOST PINOY training workshop in Gigaquit, Surigao Del Norte last March 25-26, 2015. The participants were volunteer health workers and barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) from different barangays. It was also participated by Ms. Leah Vina P. Vargas, Nutrition Officer I of National Nutrition Council Caraga and some of the regional DOST staff. The participants were trained on how to teach mothers and caregivers about basic nutrition, maternal nutrition and how to prepare Bigmo. Bigmo is a cheaper rice-mongo blend, a nutritious complementary DOST PINOY food product.


Appropriate complementary feeding and breastfeeding are discussed in the training. Breastfeeding is one of the best practices of good nutrition. Exclusive breastfeeding is done from birth up to the first six months of life. Complementary feeding starts after 6 months to meet the nutritional need of a growing child.  Nutritious foods are added in the child’s diet while breastfeeding is continued. The participants also learned how to do affordable meal planning, backyard gardening and handling and preparing foods safely.


Ms. Vargas and DOST staff from different provinces were toured in the food processing plant. The facility will soon be opened to produce the DOST-FNRI developed complementary food products which can be availed by the neighboring municipalities, cities and provinces.

muacMitigation of hunger and malnutrition is a foremost concern during emergencies.  The nutrition cluster should link with other cluster and establish capacities at all levels. For this purpose, the National Nutrition Council-Caraga conducted the Regional  Nutrition in Emergency training  at  Almont Inland Resort on March 17-20, 2015. Around 30 participants attended the training, composed of members of the Regional Nutrition Cluster, Provincial Nutrition Action Officers and Provincial Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) Coordinators.  The resource persons and facilitators of the training were Office of Civil Defense-XIII staff Ms. Lorene S. Catedral,  Department of Health HEMS staff Mr. Richard M. Maniago and NNC staff Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon and Ms. Nancy C. Sarabosing.

The training covered four modules on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, the Nutrition In Emergency Personnel as Service Provider, the Nutrition In Emergency Personnel as Trainer, and the Nutrition In Emergency Personnel as Manager. The four-day training covered lectures, workshops and practical demonstrations during the first two days while the remaining time was allotted to the nutrition cluster contingency planning workshop.

The issues and concerns brought up during the training were the source of therapeutic food, distribution of MUAC tapes to the nutrition cluster respondents, institutionalization of the community management of acute malnutrition and composition of the general food distribution. The participants were also able to provide output on the contingency plan which will be integrated to the regional contingency plan with the Office of Civil Defense.   ###

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 20:05

First Quarter Federation Meetings Held

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The National Nutrition Council provides assistance to the local nutrition programs. One of which is its technical assistance to the various federations of the local nutrition workers. As such, the NNC initiates the conduct of federation meetings of the Nutrition Action Officers, District/ City Nutrition Program Coordinators and Barangay Nutrition Scholars.

The BNS Federation had their meeting on February 18, 2015 at Patria’s Inn and Restobar. This was attended by Barangay Nutrition Scholars Federation Officers from Bayugan City, Butuan City, Cabadbaran City, Surigao City, Tandag City, Provinces of Dinagat Island, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur.  Federation President Ms. Mary B. Lomoljo (Surigao del Sur)  presided over the meeting.  Highlights of the meeting is the finalization of their Constitution and By-Laws and the attendance to the upcoming BNS National Conference at General Santos City.


Meanwhile, the NAOs Federation  meeting  was also conducted at Patrias Inn and Restobar on February 24, 2015. This was attended by Federation Officers from Bayugan City, Butuan City, Tandag City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Province of Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. The meeting was presided by Federation President Ms. Laniebelle T. Angchangco of Agusan del Sur.  Highlights of the meeting is the finalization of their Constitution and By-Laws and registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the conduct of future activities, such as fund-raising events.


Finally, the D/CNPC First Quarter Meeting was held on March 5, 2015 at Luciana Convention Center. This was attended by D/CNPCs from Surigao City, Butuan City, Province of Dinagat Island and Surigao del Sur. Federation President Ms. Florence R. Dela Cruz (Surigao City) presided over the meeting. Highlights of the meeting is the Presidents Report, especially on the recently concluded D/CNPC National Conference. They also finalized Constitution and By-Laws and will now move for registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Afterwards, the D/CNPCs had an orientation on the filling up of the OBNS scoresheet.  ###


Saturday, 28 February 2015 05:17

Healthy Lifestyle for a Healthy Heart

10404291 762965047105399 2282794455965689401 nFebruary 23, 2015, National Nutrition Council Caraga joins Department of Health in celebrating the Heart Month with the theme “Alagaan ang iyong Puso, ugaliin ang healthy lifestyle” in Almont Inland, Resort, Butuan City.

 Hypertension and diseases of the heart are among the ten leading causes of illnesses in the Philippines each year. Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. Like cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, CVDs are among the top killers in the Philippines, causing more than half of all deaths annually and generally contribute to decreased human productivity and national economic growth retardation. These diseases are collectively known as Lifestyle Related Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) because they have common risk factors which are related to unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits.

 Unhealthy lifestyle includes drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking and inactivity. Excessive drinking increased the risk for high blood pressure, heart diseases and can also lead to liver diseases. Aside from the health risks, alcohol contains calories and enhances your appetite and will make you eat more. Smoking increases risk of heart disease (which accounts for 35 to 40% of all smoking-related deaths), emphysema, cancer, stroke, asthma, lung infections, and dementia. Decreased physical activity due to the sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, increasing urbanization; and increased intake of foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugars but are low in vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients can cause overweight and obesity. Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

 Department of Health together with the National Nutrition Council intensified the health promotion on prevention and control of chronic lifestyle related NCDs to effect changes that would lead to significant reduction in mortality and morbidity due to lifestyle related NCDs.

  The Health Month Celebration has conducted various activities which includes cholesterol and sugar level taking, weight and waist circumference measurement, bloodletting and interactive lecture discussion on smoking, orientation on Package of Essential Non-communicable disease interventions (PEN), obesity and overweight and coronary artery diseases. Ms. Rowena C. Gomez, Nutrition Officer II of NNC Caraga also introduced the 10 Kumainments and Mang Moi or Moises Dalisay, who handed down the 10 Kumainments and  the campaign character that was patterned after Moises of the bible.

 The program was ended with open-forum and zumba exercise led by DOH and NNC Caraga Staff.


Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:25

Accessible DOST-PINOY for Caraganons

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Malnutrition usually starts in the first year of life because of poor infant and young child feeding practices. The period of 6 months to 2 years old is a critical period; there is an increased need for proper nutrition. 2 out of 10 children are underweight for age among the 0-5 year old Filipino and 3 out of 10 children are under-height-for-age. The physical and mental damages that will occur during this period is irreversible. Malnourished children have slow growth and development, becomes sickly and will have low performance in school. 


Last January 28, 2015, DOST-FNRI conducted an advocacy orientation on this Malnutrition Reduction Program in Provincial Hall of Surigao del Norte in Surigao City. This package is a nutrition intervention through complementary food blends and snack curls complemented with nutrition education among mothers and caregivers on basic nutrition and proper infant and young child feeding such as breastfeeding, complementary feeding, meal planning, safe food handling and preparation and backyard vegetable gardening.One of our partner agencies on combating malnutrition, Department of Science and Technology -Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) developed complementary food blends and snack food which are available for technology transfer to interested entrepreneurs under their the DOST PINOY or the Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children program. The FNRI provides technical assistance for local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations NGO) and private organizations who are interested to produce the complementary foods for livelihood and for use in their feeding program. The complementary food blends and snack curls include: rice mongo based commodities rich in energy and protein, multi-nutrient growth mix (MGM) fortified with vitamin A, iron, iodine, zinc and folic; and multi-nutrient growth mix (MGM) formulations using fruits and vegetables in ready-to-use sachet.


The Local Government of Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte is a recipient of this program and processing facility; technical expertise and resource persons from FNRI was provided to them to establish the program. The facility is expected to operate on the last week of February or first week of March this year.#

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The National Nutrition Council with UNICEF organized the National Conference of Regional BantayAsin Task Forcesheld January 22-23, 2015 at the Bayview Park Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

The Regional BantayAsin Task Forces (RBATF) that was formed all-over the regions have significantly contributed to the supply of adequately-iodized salt by putting in place effective mechanisms for monitoring and enforcement of regulation. The conference aims to generate relevant and appropriate salt iodization initiatives adopted in the regions and lessons learned that may be replicated in regions with similar supply conditions and modalities of distribution. It also aims to generate inputs for stronger linkage and alignment of national and local initiatives.

The presentation and discussion during the two-day event highlighted the National Updates on Universal Salt Iodization Initiatives which Dr. Cecilia S. Acuin, Chief of FNRI-NAMD presented the 2013 NNS Disaggregated Data on UIE and Testing of Iodized Salt. Identified best practices of existing RBATF were also presented. Mayor Liwayway DC. Caramat of the Municipality of Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya shared their active involvement in Salt Checkpoint. She also shared their initiatives for improved program management, presence of internal and external support mechanism and strengthened income generating project (selling of iodized salt) of BNS Federation.Dr.Parolita A. Mission, NNC Regional Office VII NPC presented “Mainstreaming the Salt Iodization in Nutrition Programs” wherein their Regional Nutrition Committee is acting as their RBTF. She also shared how they mobilize partners.

The NNC Regional Office together with partners from DOH and FDA were requested to bring collected salt samples from public market and major supermarket. This was tested using the WYD Iodine Checker which was demonstrated by Ms. Annabelle V. Briones and Ms. Josie L. Pondevida from DOST-ITDI. Majority of the salt samples brought were low in iodine content. The required iodine content is 30-70 ppm for salt iodization for market and 15 ppm from household.

The National Conference of Regional BantayAsin Task Forces ended with a challenge to regions to revive and strengthen their RBATF in which NNC Caraga Regional Office is up for the challenge.#

Great News for the Barangay Nutrition Scholars in the Province of Agusan del Norte.The 16thSanggunianPanlalawigan of the Province of Agusan del Norte through the Committee on Social Welfare and Population Development, authored by Honorable Elizabeth Marie R. Calo with Co-Authors Honorable Joseph E. Tomaneng and Rodulfo A. Pitogohad already been approved The Sanggunian Resolution No. 117-2014: Resolution Urging the Provincial Social Welfare, Population and Nutrition Services Office to Design a Program for the Granting of Financial Incentives to Deserving Barangay Nutrition Scholars in the Province with Outstanding Performance and to be implemented for the year 2015.


The Resolution was made after several sessions from March, May and June 2014 conducted by Honorable Elizabeth Marie R. Calo Chairperson on Committee on Social Welfare and Population Developmentthe Office of the SanggunianPanlalawigan together with Ms. Eden A. Amper from Provincial Social Welfare, Population and Nutrition Services Office, Ms.Armi C. Escatron from Provincial Health Office, Ms. Leah L. Tan, Provincial Planning Development Office, Mr. Esteban M. Dagani Provincial Budget Office, Mr. Johnny Y. Oreno, Provincial DILG and Ms. Rowena Cassion Gomez of DOH- National Nutrition Council Caraga Regional Office.


Thesaid office had received Resolution No.283-2013 dated last September 5, 2013 from theSanggunianPanlalawigan of La Union to cause allocation funds to cover the monthly allowances of all Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) of La Union and possible introduction of a House Bill that increases the allowance/stipened of BNS.


During the initial evaluation of said resolution the committee was thinking of recommending no legislative action to the said measure because it has nothing to do with the province of Agusan del Norte.

However, as the committee gleaned the resolutory clause of the Provincial Council of La Union, it intends to seek support and encourage all SanggunianPanlalawigan in the country to pass related measure and urge their respective Congressmen to sponsor a bill to increase the financial incentives of all Barangay Nutrition Scholars in the country.


Ms. Rowena Cassion-Gomez from National Nutrition Council Caraga, raised her concerns on the BNSs in the region. Under the law, it is prerogative of the Punong Barangay to appoint or replace any barangay officials including the BNS. The Punong Barangay should consider that the incumbent BNS are provided several trainings either by the national or local government agencies. They had already gained enough knowledge and skills they need to perform their duties and functions. Our government has already spent their capability enhancement and yet newly elected Punong Barangays can easily replace them due to the fact that they are co-terminus.


One good example of this case was the former BNS in Barangay Binuangan, Municipality of Tubay in the name of Hilda Guibao who brought pride and honor to the province because she garnered the title Regional Outstanding BNS in 2013. However, because of the new set of Barangay Officials, the Punong Barangay did not reappoint her but instead replaced her with a new BNS of his choice.

Ms. Eden Amper, District Nutrition Program Coordinator of Agusandelnorte asked the body if the province can increase its counterpart for the honorarium from P300 to P500. According to her, the province allocates only P300 per month, P150-P1,000 from the barangay, and P275-P700 from the municipality.


After thorough discussion and to respond to the said issues, the committee recommended enacting a provincial ordinance that will increase the provincial counterpart for the honorarium of the BNS province-wide and so the TheSanggunian Resolution No. 117-2014was made.


Great News Indeed!



pinggang pinoyAccording to World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) also known as  Lifestyle or behavior diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases are the leading causes of death globally
. These are called such because much of the risk factors associated with them are related to how one lives.  Among the important risk factors to NCDs are high blood pressure, high concentrations of cholesterol in the blood, inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables and other fiber-rich foods, overweight or obesity, physical inactivity and tobacco use.


Food intake of the average Filipino has been changing over the years in terms of quantity and quality. Filipinos are now eating more fish, meat, poultry and eggs which are good sources of protein. However, Filipinos are eating less of fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates, and more of sugars and syrups, fats and oils. This increase can be attributed to the increased consumption of animal-based foods and decline in fruit and vegetable consumption.


There are current initiatives that are implemented to promote healthy diets for lifestyle-disease prevention and control and the latest strategies are the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF), popularly known as Ten Kumainments and the Pinggang Pinoy.


The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos, consisting of ten key messages includes both foodbased and behaviour driven guidelines and addresses current nutritional dietary problems.  The Nutritional  guidelines  aim  to  address  and  prevent  malnutrition  and  diet-related  non-communicable  diseases  such  as  cancer,  diabetes  and  cardiovascular  diseases.The  NGF  was simplified, shortened and translated into 10 KUMAINMENTS (Sigla at Lakas ng Buhay) with simple, concise and clear key messages and NGF icon.  With messages like “Kumain ng ibat-ibang pagkain”, Kumain ng gulay at prutas araw-araw”, and “Panatilihin ang tamang timbang”,individuals are encouraged to eat the right foods, exercise right and pursue a healthy lifestyle in 10 easy rules.


Pinggang Pinoy is a new, easy to understand food guide that uses a familiar food plate model to convey the right food group proportions on a per-meal basis, to meet the body’s energy and nutrient needs of Filipino adults. Pinggang Pinoy is used as a visual tool to help Filipinos adopt healthy eating habits at meal times by delivering effective dietary and healthy lifestyle messages. The “Pinggang Pinoy” can be used side by side with the existing Daily Nutritional Guide (DNG) Pyramid for Filipinos but it will not replace it. According to Food and Nutrition Reaserch Institute (FNRI), Pinggang Pinoy is a quick and easy guide on how much to eat per mealtime, while the DNG Pyramid shows at a glance the whole day food intake recommendation. Both the “Pinggang Pinoy” and the DNG Pyramid for Filipinos are based on the latest science about how our food, drink, and activity choices affect our health.#


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 The problem of malnutrition is still prevalent nationwide in the form of undernutrition, overnutrition and specific micronutrient deficiencies affecting a significant number of population group nationwide.  The effects of malnutrition are devastating which will affect the over-all development of an affected individual that may have an impact to socio-economic development of the country.

The causes of malnutrition is varied which can be attributed to immediate factors due to inadequate food intake and the presence of infections and illness. The underlying causes of malnutrition may vary as well depending on the socio-economic background of the family, child care practices, environmental sanitation, status and accessibility of food production, access to health facilities and services and educational background of the parents of malnourished children or caregiver.

 The development and dissemination of nutritional guidelines for Filipinos as a primary recommendations to promote good health through proper nutrition including the advice on consumption of foods for which there are public health concerns may guide the public on achieving good health and nutrition.

 The 2012 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos, consisting of ten key messages includes both food based and behaviour driven guidelines and addresses current nutritional dietary problems.  The Nutritional guidelines aim to address and prevent malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.The NGF was simplified, shortened and translated into 10 KUMAINMENTS (Sigla at Lakas ng Buhay) with a simple, concise and clear key messages and NGF icon.  With messages like “Kumain ng ibat-ibang pagkain”, Kumain ng gulay at prutas araw-araw”, and “Panatilihin ang tamang timbang”, individuals are encouraged to eat the right foods, exercise right and pursue a healthy lifestyle in 10 easy rules.

The National Nutrition Council Caraga urge the public to follow the 10 Kumainments guidelines for a healthy and well nourished body and to prevent the occurrence of lifestyle related non-communicable diseases like diabetes, nutrition related cancers, cardiovascular diseases, among others. NNC Caraga  held 10 Kumainments Regional Launching and Forum on  November 6-7, 2014 at Goat 2geder, Butuan City and 10 Kumainments Launching at Philippine Port Area in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.

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The National Nutrition Council- Caraga has continued the 2nd batch of barangay-level trainings on the community support for Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF). The training on community mobilization in support to the IYCF Program aims to mobilize stakeholders and involve families and communities to promote, protect and support IYCF practices. The trainings are conducted in selected model barangays in the five provinces of the region.

The Municipality of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte started mobilizing volunteers with the training conducted at the Rural Health Unit of Barangay Kauswagan  on October 6-9, 2014. Over 25 participants, composed of barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholars, rural health midwives and mother-leaders attended the activity.

 Meanwhile the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Province of Dinagat Island and Surigao del Sur conducted their mobilization on October 14-17, 2014. In Agusan del Sur, the model barangay was Brgy. Consuelo in the municipality of Bunawan. The training was conducted at the barangay hall and led by the Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Elena Bandoy, with the support of the Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Laniebelle T. Angchangco. Participants were mostly barangay health workers and some mother-leaders.  

Barangay Poblacion, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur was the site of another model barangay. Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Ermelinda C. Ascarez led  the training at the barangay hall,  together with District Nutrition Program Coordinator Ms. Marilu M. Gallardo, Nutrition Officer II Ms. Miloniza N. Serra and Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Ronalyn Francisco.  The participants were a combination of municipal personnel, barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholar and volunteer mothers.

In Cagdianao, Province of Dinagat Islands, the training was conducted at Barangay Poblacion at the conference room of the municipal hall.  The 25 participants were composed of barangay officials, barangay nutrition scholar, barangay health workers and mother-leaders. The training was facilitated by the Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Enecita Borja and Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Ma. Lerma B. Erno.

Surigao del Norte will undertake their community mobilization in the municipality of Claver. NNC Caraga will continue to monitor the conduct of trainings.  ###

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The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) conducted a dissemination forum on the result of the 8th National Nutrition Survey on October 10, 2014 at Y Hotel, Butuan City. The national nutrition survey is conducted every three years since 1978 and aims to evaluate the nutrition and health status of Filipinos and update the statistics on food, nutrition and health situation in the country. The 8th NNS was conducted all over the country during the period of June 2013 to April 2014. The survey covers the components on anthropometric survey, biochemical survey, clinical and health survey, economics survey, food security, government program participation, infant and young child feeding, maternal health and salt survey.

Participants during the forum were Nutrition Action Officers, District Nutrition Program Coordinators, DOST provincial directors, inter-agency personnel and other stakeholders.

Highlights of the survey showed that for Caraga, the number of 0-5 year-old children who were underweight reduced to 19.9% from 23.1 % in 2011. Provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte showed notable decrease in number of underweight children. Data on number of children who are stunted, those who are short for their age, lessened by 3 percentage points from 37.3% in 2011 to 34.3 % in 2013. All provinces in Caraga showed reduction in stunting. Meanwhile the number of children who were wasted, those whose weight is low for their height, also decreased by 1.1 percent to 7.5%.  The provinces of  Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur showed decreased number of wasted children.

On the other hand, the number of overweight children almost doubled from the 2011 rate of 1.9 % to the 2013 rate of 3.7%.  The result of the survey showed the extent of double burden of malnutrition in the region. While undernourished children are prone to infections and have weak resistance to fight off diseases, overnourished children are more at risk for diet-related non-communicable diseases. The challenge to nutrition stakeholders then is to reduce or eradicate the number of children who are not just undernourished  but also the overnourished. ###

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The National Nutrition Council-Caraga conducted a five-day live-in Training of Trainers on the Basic Course for Barangay Nutrition Scholars on September 15-19, 2014 at Goat 2-Geder Hotel and Restaurant, Butuan City. The training aims to capacitate its participants knowledge, attitude and skills that will help them coach Barangay Nutrition Scholars in achieving core competencies.  The BNSs are community nutrition workers who deliver basic nutrition and nutrition-related services to families particularly those with malnourished children. 

The training was organized into six modules that enabled the participants to explain details of the Barangay Nutrition Scholar Program; discuss the basic concepts of food and nutrition; develop the skills needed in performing the roles and tasks of BNSs; describe the nutrition program management at the barangay level and in the context of local development system; illustrate the numerous roles and responsibilities of BNSs in the context of the nutrition program management at the barangay level; and implement training on the basic course for BNSs.

Thirty participants composed of Municipal Nutrition Action Officers and staff attended and completed the training. NNC Caraga staff  NO III Retsebeth M. Laquihon, NO II Rowena C. Gomez, NO II Nancy C. Sarabosing  were the facilitators/ resource persons along with Agusan del Sur OIC -PNAO Laniebelle T. Angchangco, Butuan City OIC-CNAO Nenita C. Rafanan and Surigao del Sur NO II Miloniza N. Serra.     ###

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The National Nutrition Council-Caraga spearheaded the conduct of Nutrition Program Management Training on September 1-5, 2014 at Goat 2-Geder Hotel and Restaurant, Butuan City. The training, participated by 30 Municipal Nutrition Action Officers, aimed to develop capacities of the MNAOs in nutrition program management to help solve malnutrition and hunger within the context of local governance and development.

The training is divided into eight modules that facilitated the understanding of participants on the basic concepts of food and nutrition, the needed core values and skills of nutrition workers, nutrition program management in the local governance and development system and the four phases of nutrition program management.

After the training, the participants are now expected to conduct trainings on NPM among local nutrition workers, members of the local nutrition committee and other stakeholders. The technical assistance to LGUs include how to organize the the local nutrition committees, formulate local nutrition action plans, ensure the plans effective and efficient implementation, monitor their progress and evaluate their outcomes against set objectives.  ###


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July is the Nutrition Month as designated by PD 491 or Nutrition Act of the Philippines. The National Nutrition Council coordinates the nationwide celebration of Nutrition Month. This year the theme focuses on Nutrition in Emergency(NIE) with the theme: Kalamidad paghandaan: Gutom at malnutrisyon agapan! The focus on nutrition in emergencies aims to provide the venue for the general public to realize the importance of preparedness during emergencies, how to respond and what recovery measures can be taken to prevent death and worsening of malnutrition of affected population groups.

With efforts to promote NIE, the National Nutrition Council Caraga, in partnership with the Butuan City Nutrition Office kicked-off the Nutrition Month Celebration with a Jog for Health last July 2, 2014. This was attended by over 500 participants which included city officials, members of Regional Nutrition Committee(RNC), Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs) and members of Barangay Nutrition Committee. The Jog for Health started at Agusan del Norte provincial capitol grounds to Guingona Park.  At Guingona Park, the participants enjoyed the hataw dance fitness led by a barangay captain. Afterwards, the different barangay teams participated in the various contest such as chanting competition, nutri-jingle with emphasis on NM theme, jolliest group and best in jogging attire. A short program was then conducted to unveil the Nutrition Month theme. DOH Director Minerva P. Molon was assisted by Atty. Rema E. Burdeos, City Councilor in unveiling the tarp with the NM theme.  Director Molon talked about the NM theme and stressed how important preparedness is during disaster and emergencies. She commended the efforts of the local nutrition committees who participated in the activity.

Moreover, National Nutrition Council held a press conference on the Nutrition Month theme right after the launching activity. Over 20 media personnel from various network attended the event. Nutrition Officer III Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon conducted a brief lecture on the NM theme. The panelists for the conference included DOH Director Minerva P. Molon, DOH Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) representative Mr. Richard Maniago, OIC- City Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Nenita C. Rafanan and City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Officer Ms. Grace Espere. Some of the issues raised were the timeliness and quantity of food packs for distribution during emergencies; the extent of readiness of the disaster coordinating council to respond during emergencies; existing programs and projects of NNC to address malnutrition problem; nutrition advocacy efforts of NNC and its scope, among others.  The respective questions were addressed by the panelist accordingly.

In the afternoon, a nutrition forum for Barangay Nutrition Scholars was conducted. The forum was attended by 120 BNSs and RNC members. Nutrition Officer III Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon discussed on the highlights of the Nutrition Month theme specifically as to why focus on NIE, nutrition management during emergencies, organization of the local nutrition cluster and key messages on NIE.  To ensure the audience participation, a question and answer portion, with corresponding collateral materials as token prize, was conducted focusing on the NM theme.    ###

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The Philippine Association of Nutrition (PAN) held its 67th Annual Convention at Marco Polo Plaza in Cebu City. More than 400 nutritionists and allied professionals and workers all over the country participated in the gathering. The theme ‘’ Nutrisyong Pangkalahatan, Sangkap ng Kaunlaran’’ draws attention to nutrition as a necessary tool towards equitable development.

The presentation and discussion during the two-day event highlighted inequities in nutritional status and access to nutrition programs and services. Presentation on results of 8th National Nutrition Survey underline the disparities in food and nutrition with respect to location, gender, age and wealth index. Data on expenditures for nutrition and related interventions shows how much is spent for nutrition and how it is distributed. A presentation on the distribution of nutrition expertise in the country identifies the gaps that exist which prevent identification of experts.  The Updated Philippine Development Plan shows how inequity in nutrition is being addressed by the different government agencies.

Best practices in narrowing nutrition equity gaps was also featured during the conference. The Moderate Acute Malnutrition Management through Partnerships Implementation, Localization and Technology Transfer (MAMM PILOT) Project findings suggest that MAM management using Ready to Use Food coupled with nutrition education delivered through existing public health structure can be an effective means of treating MAM cases.  A panel discussion on the Naga City experience conveys that reducing child underweight prevalence is a concerted effort of the different members of the City Nutrition Committee with the ‘hands-on ‘ leadership of its city mayor.  The different presentations in the convention provided much useful information for the barangay health and nutrition program implementers in delivering nutrition services.

After the plenary sessions, the PAN conducted its business meeting and awards ceremony. Dr. Gemiliano DL. Aligui led the oathtaking of the 2014 PAN members.  Awards were given to outstanding students in nutrition and dietetics, exemplary nutrition projects and PAN Fellows.  Dr. Aligui then provided the synthesis of the two-day convention and gave the closing remarks thus marking the closing ceremonies of the convention.   ###

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The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos are recommendations to promote good health through proper nutrition. The goal of the 2012 NGF is the improvement of the nutritional status, productivity and quality of life of the population, through adoption of desirable dietary practices and healthy lifestyle.

As part of its Gender and Development (GAD) activity and in partnership with the National Nutrition Council-Caraga, the Philippine Port Authority conducted the NGF Forum and Breastfeeding Advocacy. During the opening remarks, Engr. Ronaldo C. Montero pointed out that most of the employees were very interested in learning about healthy food choices since they have a history of hypertension and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon was the guest speaker during the forum. She discussed on the history of the NGF, statistics on fruit and vegetable consumption in the Philippines, information on mortality and morbidity statistics and the 10 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos. After the lecture, Ms. Leah Vina P. Vargas led the  open forum in which the PPA employees asked several questions. She also facilitated the raffle in which she asked several questions regarding the NGF.

After the forum was the consultative meeting with PPA officials and representatives of shipping services to explore partnership on maintenance of established breastfeeding area in the port terminal and in establishment of breastfeeding corner in passenger ships. The Nasipit Port Terminal already has a family room with breastfeeding area. Part of the discussion included possibility of NNC Caraga providing IEC materials such as breastfeeding posters, flyers and fans. It was also agreed that PPA and NNC will meet with owners and representatives of passenger ships Cokaliong Shipping Lines and 2Go Shipping on May 8, 2014 to coordinate for the campaign of NGF and breastfeeding promotion in passenger ship through posting of NGF posters and stickers and establishment of breastfeeding corner.


In the afternoon, the group went to Nasipit Port Terminal to check out the established breastfeeding area in the designated Family Room. The port terminal manager met with the group and joined in the inspection of the facility. There was a lactating mother breastfeeding her baby during the team’s visit. The group discussed on the improvements that could be made such as  use of logbook for those mothers who enter the area, posting of BF posters and BF booklets and installation of NGF billboards in port terminals.#


commob2Caraga has started mobilizing community support for IYCF in several barangays throughout the region. In Butuan City, the mobilization was conducted at  Barangay Antongalon on March 6-7, 2014. Participants included 25 barangay  personnel led by Barangay Captain Crisanto Carin. The volunteers included pregnant and lactating mothers from different puroks in the area. OIC City Nutrition Action Officer  Ms. Nenita C. Rafanan, together with District Nutrition Program Coordinators facilitated the orientation and organization of the support group. The group called themselves the Breastfeeding Ambassadors and elected their officers.

In San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, the model barangay is Barangay Alegria which is led by Barangay Captain Solomon T. Rufila. Provincial  Nutrition Action Officer  Ms. Laniebelle T. Angchangco and Municipal Nutrition Action Officer  Ms. Mamerlyn Bugaoan oriented the participants on the roles and responsibilities of the municipal and barangay IYCF Team. The mobilization happened on March 24-25, 2014. The Alegria group called themselves the IYCF Prime Movers. The volunteers were composed of representatives from senior citizens, religious sector, TODA, purok leaders and the pregnant and lactating mothers. Aside from volunteers from Barangay Alegria, there were volunteers from other barangays who observed the activity to ensure they will be able to replicate the mobilization in their own area.  

In Bayugan City, the mobilization took place at Barangay Maygatasan on March 26-27, 2014. The group of volunteers named themselves the Maygatasan Breastfeeding Group. They were composed of  barangay kagawads, BNS, BHWs and mother leaders. Barangay Captain  Café expressed his support for the breastfeeding support group. Provincial  Nutrition Action Officer  Ms. Laniebelle T. Angchangco , OIC- City Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Ana Jane Garcia and  City Nutrition Program Coordinator Mr. Carlo Magno Montesclaros led the orientation.  

In Surigao City, the City Nutrition Action Officer Dr. Emmanuel A. Plandano, City Nutrition Program Coordinator Ms. Florence R. Dela Cruz, public health nurses  and the rural health midwives converged on April 1-2, 2014 at Barangay Mat-I for the mobilization. The event started with a motorcade throughout the area to create awareness among the residents. After the motorcade was the community assembly participated by the volunteers as well as representatives from the youth sector, local high school, senior citizens, purok leaders and barangay kagawad. The midwives also gave an orientation to  the volunteers on the use of the IYCF Counseling Cards. After the orientation, the volunteers pledged their commitment to support the group.

Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Ma. Lerma B. Erno with the help of the rural health midwife and public health nurse organized the community mobilization training at Barangay Poblacion in San Jose, Province of Dinagat Island. The volunteers came from different sectors such as senior citizen, purok presidents, 4Ps leaders, barangay kagawad, barangay council for protection of children. They elected their set of officers to ensure they would have people who will lead in meetings and advocacy activities. They also pledged their commitment to do their best to help promote optimal IYCF practices in their community.

NNC Caraga continues to monitor the other provinces and cities in the on-going community mobilization.   ###






commob1April 1, 2014-The mobilization on Infant and Young Child Feeding counseling and creation of community support groups were conducted to ensure and accelerate the promotion, protection and support of good IYCF in the barangay level. This is also done to strengthen the advocacy on the impact of good feeding practices have on the nutritional status, growth, development, health, and survival of infants and young children.

Each city and province in Caraga has started to mobilize their community IYCF support groups. The IYCF counseling community mobilization includes training on Infant and Young Child Feeding counselling course, Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos and the use of Counseling cards. After the training the participants will be able to counsel pregnant women and mothers with 0-2 years old children and conduct of nutrition education classes in their barangay. Currently, Butuan City, Bayugan City and Agusan del Sur already started their community mobilization while Surigao City and Dinagat Islands province will conduct their first batches this week.

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