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.
After the back-to-back Awareness Raising Forum and Level 1 Training on the IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) Protocol for Chronic Food Insecurity Analysis held 28-29 October 2014 and17-21 November, respectively, the analysis workshop to generate the first Philippines chronic food insecurity map will be held. The workshop is scheduled on 20-24 January under the facilitation of 2 technical experts from the IPC Global Support Unit of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
The analysis will focus on classifying the 18 provinces of the Philippines that include 13 priority provinces of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) according to IPC’s four levels of chronic food insecurity (low, moderate, high, and very high).
The IPC analysts are composed of the 31IPC-trained sectoral staff from government, nongovernment organizations, academia, and UN agencies. Ongoing preparation include data sharing and processing in preparation for the analysis proper using the web-based tool called the information support system (ISS). Data sources include the DOST-FNRI for anthropometric and food security data, and the Philippines Statistics Authority for poverty statistics and food and income expenditure data. IPC aims to provide decision-makers information on the severity, magnitude and determinants of chronic food insecurity in identified priority provinces to guide in nutrition and food security policy and program formulation.
Assistant Secretary Bernie Flores led the Philippine delegation for the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition held at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy on 19-21 November 2014.
The 2nd ICN was an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO) both of the United Nations.
It was a high-level ministerial conference that adopted a flexible policy framework to address today's major nutrition challenges and priorities for enhanced international cooperation on nutrition.
ICN2 brought together national leaders, senior national policymakers from agriculture, health and other relevant ministries and agencies, leaders of United Nations agencies and other intergovernmental organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, researchers, the private sector and consumers.
The National Nutrition Council will pursue in 2015 the conduct of a series of capacity building activities for 30 selected municipalities of the country as part of NNC’s strategy to capacitate local government units. The Early Warning System for Food and Nutrition Security is a component of the Philippine Food and Nutrition Surveillance System (PFNSS) that is intended to enable LGUs to take timely nutrition action through early detection of a worsening nutrition situation based on monitoring of nutrition and nutrition-related indicators.
The NNC, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations started the conduct of trainings for municipal and city level personnel on the Early Warning System for Food and Nutrition Security in the municipality of Botolan, in Zambales and in Panabo City, Davao del Norte in the 3rd quarter of 2014. This was followed by consultative meetings and training for local teams in another 8 local government units as part of the initial roll-out of the project in 2014. Another 20 cities/municipalities will be prioritized for 2015, this time through the joint efforts of NNC and FAO with support from UNICEF.
The National Nutrition Council’s radio drama series Katumbas ay Biyaya was once again nominated for Best Public Service Program radio category at the 36th Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) on 29 October 2014 held at the GSIS Theater, Pasay City. Katumbas ay Biyaya was one of the six finalists chosen among 20 entries for the award category.
Now in its 9th season, Katumbas ay Biyaya is aired over DZRH 666 kHz AM every Saturday between 10:00 and 11:00 am. It is a 30-minute radio program featuring the dramatization of various nutrition and related concerns and then later discussed by a nutritionist-dietitian from the NNC. This is part of the NNC’s media campaign under the Promote Good Nutrition Program that aims to educate Filipinos to adopt positive nutrition behaviors. Past episodes are also aired nationwide in NNC’s 25 Nutriskwela community radio stations and in local radio stations by the NNC regional offices.
This is the fourth year in a row for Katumbas ay Biyaya to be a CMMA finalist. The radio program was one of the finalists in the 33rd and 34th CMMA for Best Public Service Program (radio category) while it bagged the 35th CMMA award in 2013 for the same category.
The Catholic Mass Media Awards organized by the CMMA Foundation, one of the most prestigious award-giving bodies, is an offering of the Archdiocese of Manila to media practitioners who embody what is good and true for God and humanity.
The National Nutrition Council held its annual National Nutrition Awarding Ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center on 21 October 2014. Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. was the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker. NNC Governing Board Chair Enrique T. Ona was represented by Health Undersecretary Nemesio T. Gako. Senator Pimentel together with USec. Gako and Assistant Secretary of Health and NNC Executive Director Maria-Bernardita T. Flores conferred the nutrition awards to 16 outstanding local government units (LGUs) for excellence in nutrition program management and the National Oustanding Barangay Nutrition Scholars. Awards conferred were the Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN), CROWN Maintenance Award and the Nutrition Honor Award.
The 2013 outstanding local government units and Barangay Nutrition Scholars that were recognized for their outstanding achievements are as follows:
In the recent call of Senator Grace Poe in her privilege speech at the Senate calling for an increase in the 2015 budget for children’s feeding program, the National Nutrition Council supports actions to address hunger and malnutrition especially among children.
While there has been some improvement in the nutrition situation of children in the country, the problem persists. Based on the 2013 national nutrition survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, 19.9% of children below 5 years old are underweight for their age; 7.9% are wasted or thin for their age and 30.3% are stunted or short for their age. Among children 5-10 years old, malnutrition continues with 29.1% are underweight, 29.9% are stunted and 8.6% are wasted.
The NNC recommends that priority should be given to nutrition and related interventions in the first 1,000 days or the first nine months in the womb until the child’s second birthday. These include interventions for feeding the nutritionally at-risk pregnant women, ensuring that infants are breastfed exclusively in the first 6 months and starting at 6 months, are given nutritious and appropriate complementary food while continuing breastfeeding. Priority should also be given to treating children who are wasted or have severe acute malnutrition as they have higher risk of dying.
Now, Filipinos from every walk of life can find ways to get healthy and be nutritionally well by following very simple guidelines drawn up by the National Nutrition Council (NNC) of the Department of Health (DOH).
The “10 Kumainments” -- a campaign to promote the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) -- was launched by the NNC at the “3rd National Conference of Nutrition Action Officers" held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on October 23, 2014.
The 10 Kumainments are the popularized versions of the NGF approved by the NNC Governing Board chaired by Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona to promote a healthy lifestyle among Pinoys. The nutritional guidelines aim to address and prevent malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The 10 Kumainments are simple and easy to remember guidelines that can be easily followed by ordinary citizens to improve their nutritional status. With messages like “Kumain ng iba’t ibang pagkain”, “Kumain ng gulay at prutas araw-araw”, and “Panatilihin ang tamang timbang”, individuals are encouraged to eat the right foods, exercise regularly and pursue a healthy lifestyle in 10 easy rules. The messages will be aired on TV and radio stations nationwide.
A campaign character, Moises Dalisay also known as "Mang Moi", was also introduced at the launch. Patterned after Moses or Moises of the Bible story who handed out the Ten Commandments, the friendly “Mang Moi” crusades for the “10 Kumainments” that Pinoys should follow for better nutrition.
“We encourage all the Nutrition Action Officers in the country to help disseminate the 10 Kumainments up to the barangays and to every household so that they can contribute in influencing proper nutrition behaviours and be able to help reduce malnutrition in the country,” said Jovita Raval, NNC Chief of the Nutrition Information and Education Division, who led the national launch.
A job well done! The National Nutrition Council will confer the highest distinction in nutrition, the Nutrition Honor Award, to the municipality of Lal-lo in Cagayan province in region 2, the province of Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region and the city of Maasin in Southern Leyte in region 8. These LGUs have exemplified outstanding performance in nutrition program management as manifested by the continued reduction in the prevalence of undernutrition both among preschool and school children for six (6) consecutive years as validated by the interagency National Nutrition Evaluation Team. The nutrition champions will each receive trophy and cash incentive of P1,000,000 during the 2014 National Nutrition Awarding Ceremony on 21 October 2014 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. Sixteen (16) other LGUs to be recognized during the awarding ceremony include:
2nd Year CROWN Maintenance Award
1st Year CROWN Maintenance Award
- Cauayan City, Isabela
- Paombong, Bulacan
- Mogpog, Marinduque
- Mandaluyong City
- Jordan, Guimaras
- Jagna, Bohol
- Valencia City, Bukidnon
Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) Award
- Bangui, Ilocos Norte
- Iriga City, Camarines Sur
- Maramag, Bukidnon
- Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
The NHA and CROWN Maintenance awardees were evaluated from March to June 2014, endorsed by the interagency National Nutrition Evaluation Teams to, and confirmed by the NNC Technical Committee.
On the other hand, the CROWN award is given to an LGU with outstanding performance in nutrition program for three consecutive years in their respective regions. CROWN awardees will receive a trophy and cash prize of P500,000. Recipients of the CROWN 1st and 2nd Year Maintenance Award will also receive a cash prize and a plaque of recognition and the chance to vie for the higher award next year.
Congratulations to all our winners!
The National Nutrition Council, as chair of the Nutrition Cluster for Health Emergency Management System, spearheaded the conduct of Training of Trainers on Nutrition in Emergencies (NiEm) in partnership with UNICEF Philippines on 8-12 September in Baguio City. The training aimed to develop capacities on NiEm of NNC staff at the national and regional level together with regional members of the nutrition cluster in the country. The training aimed to provide additional pool of trainers on NiEm who will later serve as trainers for roll-out trainings for local government units.
There were 31 participants from NNC Central Office and members of the regional nutrition cluster from regions 1, 2, CAR, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and UNICEF. For the smooth conduct of the training, NNC commissioned the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) based in Bangkok, Thailand in the person of Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmed Siddiqui, Head of the Public Health in Emergencies Department of ADPC as course director and Dr. Khizar Tausefff Ahmed Ashraf, Program Officer in Nutrition of World Food Programme – Pakistan as expert trainer.
The training included how local nutrition clusters will manage nutrition services in emergencies. Participants in the roll-out trainings are expected to also develop local nutrition action plans that include Nutrition in Emergencies management. NiEm aims to prevent the deterioration of nutritional status of the population particularly the vulnerable groups which include infants, young children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, elderly and persons with disabilities, during emergencies.
A second batch of Training of Trainers on NiEm is scheduled on 29 September – 3 October 2014 also in Baguio City to be attended by members of the regional nutrition cluster of regions 7, 11, 12, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Caraga, ARMM, UNICEF and selected technical staff of NNC Central Office.
The NNC in partnership with the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food of the University of the Philippines Los Baños certified 28 new trainers on Nutrition Program Management (NPM) during the closing program of the Training of Trainers on NPM on 6-9 August 2014 in Makati City. The new trainers, consisting of NNC central and regional technical staff, will add to the existing pool of trainers that assists local government units improve the management of their nutrition programs. The new trainers are expected to train selected local government units that need assistance in terms of organizing the local nutrition committees, formulating local nutrition action plans, ensuring the plans’ effective and efficient implementation, monitoring their progress and evaluating their outputs and/or outcomes against set targets.
The NNC has also developed and printed the Trainer’s Manual and User’s Manual on NPM which is now being distributed across regions in the country. These efforts are part of NNC’s capacity development strategy to assist its stakeholders in contributing to improved nutritional situation of the country. A new feature of the training on NPM is the synchronization of local nutrition planning with the development planning of local government units every 3 years and the development of annual investment plans to include annual targets in the three-year nutrition action plan.
The NNC regional offices are also slated to conduct trainings on NPM targeting newly-designated or appointed Nutrition Action Officers, and District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators in municipalities that do not have local nutrition action plans.
The Department of Health (DOH) recognized the exceptional efforts of all local government units, local response teams, foreign partners, DOH regional offices, DOH hospitals and medical centers, bureaus, services, and offices of the DOH Central Office, and DOH attached agencies that responded to Typhoon Yolanda-affected areas and populations through a ceremony entitled "Awarding of the Unsung Heroes: Ty Yolanda Responders" which was held on 25 July 2014 at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City.
Secretary of Health Enrique T. Ona expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the almost 9,000 medical/health responders from about 222 institutions and agencies, including the 351 medical teams both local and foreign who courageously dedicated their time, services, expertise and resources to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
On behalf of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), Ms. Dianne Kristine P. Cornejo, Nutrition Officer III, and Ms. Margarita DC. Enriquez, Nutrition Officer II of the Nutrition Policy and Planning Division received the plaque and certificates of appreciation from Secretary Ona.
The NNC (which had barely assumed chairmanship of the National Nutrition Cluster when Typhoon Yolanda hit the country on 08 November 2013) participated in the deployment of the DOH Response Team and was involved in providing technical assistance, distribution and administration of vitamin A supplements, and counseling on infant and young child feeding. The NNC NCR office, together with barangay nutrition scholars, participated in the operations at the Villamor Air Base, with two NNC staff volunteering to wet-nurse the infants in the temporary shelters. The NNC regional offices received and collated reports on nutrition services being delivered. The NNC was also a key player in the conduct of the SMART or Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions survey, particularly in data collection, data collation, report writing, and dissemination of survey results. Results of the SMART survey supported the National and Regional Nutrition Clusters in prioritizing resources and planning and adjusting the nutrition response and its targets. Results of the SMART survey were shared with the Cabinet Cluster on Human Development and Poverty Reduction for their information and for them to consider nutrition activities that can be integrated in their existing programs.
The Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) released the initial results of the National Nutrition Survey 2013 during the Nutrition Summit on 26 June. The stunting (low height-for-age) prevalence among children age 0-5 years significantly decreased from 33.6% in 2011 to 30.3% in 2013. The three regions with lowest share of stunted children age 0-5 years are NCR (22.4%), Central Luzon (23.1%) and CALABARZON (25.3%); while those with highest stunting burden are Bicol (39.8%), ARMM (39.0%) and Zamboanga Peninsula (38.7%). There was also a significant decline in stunting among children age 5.08-10.00 years from 33.6% in 2011 to 29.9% in 2013, and among adolescents age 10.08-19.00 years from 35.7% in 2011 to 31.5% in 2013. Stunting is a result of long-term food and nutrient deprivation that retards physical growth and cognitive development, and increases the risk to illnesses which may later affect economic productivity.
There was also a small decline in the underweight (low weight-for-age) prevalence among children age 0-5 years from 20.2% in 2011 to 19.9%. NCR (12.9%), CAR (16.5%) and Northern Mindanao (17.7%) had the lowest prevalence of underweight children age 0-5 years while MIMAROPA (27.5%), Western Visayas (26.0%) and Bicol (24.6%) had the highest prevalence. Better results are seen among children age 5.08-10.00 years, indicating a significant decrease in underweight from 32.0% in 2011 to 29.0% in 2013.
The National Nutrition Council and the United Nations Children’s Fund, in partnership with the Global Nutrition Cluster held a training on cluster coordination in the context of nutrition in disaster risk reduction and management last 3-5 July 2014 at the Bayview Park Hotel.
The training aimed to provide a clearer and better understanding of the cluster approach to enable the Philippine Nutrition Cluster to carry out its functions to ensure a predictable, timely, coordinated and effective nutrition response to disaster-affected populations.
About 35 participants attended the training, and included all the NNC regional nutrition program coordinators or their representative; selected staff from the NNC central office, and selected members of the Philippine Nutrition Cluster, specifically, UNICEF, Action Contra La Faim (ACF), World Vision representing the Philippine Coalition of Advocates for Nutrition or PhilCAN, and Save the Children.
The training involved interactive learning sessions on the context of the Philippine Nutrition Cluster; humanitarian reform and transformative agenda; the cluster approach; humanitarian programme cycle from assessment to planning to implementation to monitoring; cluster coordination performance monitoring; and accountability to clients.
Participants had a glimpse of both international and local standards and protocols for a coordinated nutrition response in emergencies from the speakers of the Global Nutrition Cluster, Dr. Ayadil Saparbekov, and Dr. Anna Ziolkovska; National Nutrition Council, Ms. Maria Lourdes A. Vega, and Health Emergency Management Bureau of the Department of Health, Dr. Ronald P. Law. True to the Welcome and Opening Remarks of Assistant Secretary of Health Maria-Bernardita T. Flores, discussions provided inputs for participants to reflect and determine “how the nutrition cluster at various levels can adopt or adapt key processes to further improve and strengthen the performance of the cluster and in the process prevent a worsening of the nutrition situation”.
NNC Executive Director Assistant Secretary of Health Maria-Bernardita T. Flores led the book launch of NNC’s publication to commemorate the 40th birthday of the organization. The book entitled “NNC 40 Years: Nurturing the Filipino Towards a Stronger Nation” highlights the beginnings of NNC, what it has achieved, the challenges that it has gone through and recognizes the people who have forged and shaped the NNC to what it is today. Set against the backdrop of six political administrations of varying priorities and programs, the book is a testimony of the hard work and dedication of the men and women behind and in front of the NNC. Its title captures the spirit of the NNC – nurturers of every Filipino to ensure optimal nutrition for them to become productive citizens.
This book is also NNC’s way of recognizing its guiding lights… former and present chairs of the NNC Governing Board, NNC Technical Committee, former Executive Directors, members of the various committees, task forces, and technical working groups, the local chief executives and members of local nutrition committees, the nutrition action officers, district/city nutrition program coordinators, the barangay nutrition scholars, development partners, international and local non-government organizations and all its partners in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
The book launch was held during the 40th anniversary celebration of the NNC on 25 June at the NNC office. The launch was attended by special guest Assistant Secretary Gerardo V. Bayugo representing the current NNC Governing Board Chair Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona. About 300 guests and the entire NNC Secretariat attended the milestone event.
A Nurture Run was recently organized in May at the CCP grounds in Pasay City by Beauty Brains and Breastfeeding (BBB, Inc) and UNICEF, co-presented by the Department of Health and the National Nutrition Cluster chaired by the National Nutrition Council. The objective of the Run was to raise the public’s awareness on the importance of breastfeeding during emergencies including in the work place. More than 1,700 runners from all walks of life — the general public, government sector, non-government organizations and private sector participated in the activity. Former PBA basketball star, Mr. Vince Hizon was there together with his sports caster and television host wife Patricia Bermudez-Hizon and kids, Vicente and Paul Andre to support the historic breastfeeding run.
Patricia related how Vince emotionally affirmed her when she was still exclusively breastfeeding their two kids. She shared that husbands who show full support to their partners make breastfeeding a joyful part of parenthood and truly a family affair.
Aside from promoting closer ties between the mother and infant, breastfeeding provides the right amount of nutrients and significant immunoglobulins which the infant needs for optimum growth and development. Families can also save as much as P4,000 a month from freed cost of formula milk, distilled water and fuel. During emergencies, breast milk assures babies of readily available, nutritionally adequate and clean food.
Truly, breastfeeding anytime anywhere is the Filipino families’ best bet for nurturing children.
Headed by Assistant Secretary of Health and Executive Director Maria-Bernardita T. Flores, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) management composed of regional Nutrition Program Coordinators from across the country and Division Chiefs of NNC Central Office, recently flew to Nutrition Honor Awardee Batanes for the conduct of the 2nd Quarter NNC Management Conference (ManCon) for 2014.
The 2nd Quarter ManCon took place at the Department of Agriculture-Batanes Experiment Station in Basco, Batanes on 12-15 May 2014. The objectives of the conference were to update the management on the status of various NNC programs, projects and activities; tackle and resolve issues on nutrition policy and plan development, promotion of good nutrition, monitoring and evaluation, and governance; and, discuss other concerns with regard to the operations of NNC. The conference included a visit to the Nutriskwela Radyo Kayvayvanan Community Radio Station, one of the 25 stations established by NNC to provide current and relevant news and information on nutrition and other development concerns to communities that are less accessible to commercial radio facilities. It was lkewise an opportunity to observe and witness a live broadcast of the Batang Radyo sa Nutrisyon of Batanes.
NNC-Regional Office 02 led by NPC Rhodora G. Maestre hosted the said conference. In coordination with the Provincial Nutrition Committee and Provincial Tourism Office, NNC-Region 02 arranged an orientation-briefing on the Batanes Provincial Nutrition Program and the municipal nutrition programs of the neighboring municipalities of Mahatao and Ivana, and the island municipality of Sabtang. In 2012, NNC recognized the Province of Batanes by bestowing it the Nutrition Honor Award for its outstanding and sustained performance in nutrition improvement for six consecutive years.