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by Elsa S. Subong

PIA Press Release
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Iloilo City, Feb 15 (PIA) – The next time one buys rice in the market or malls, he should look for iron-fortified rice for consumption of his family.

The use of iron fortified rice is being pushed by the National Nutrition Council (NNC), together with the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Food Authority (NFA).

NNC Regional Coordinator Nona Tad-y said the iron-Fortified Rice or I-Rice is promoted for consumption as they found out from Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) surveys that majority of all age groups of Filipinos are anemic.

Tad-y said that to address this deficiency the NNC and support agencies thought of using the Filipinos’ staple food which is rice, as a base for iron fortification.

Tad-y said the campaign slogan “Huwag maging KSP” or “Kulang sa Sangkap Pinoy” is reminding Filipinos of keeping themselves healthy by preventing micronutrient deficiencies, among which is iron.

The DOH said eating I-Rice helps a person fight anemia and infections, keep his mind sharp, keeps his body active and his resistance strong.

The NFA said there is more than enough supply of I-Rice in the market, although the launching of it to create greater public awareness is sometime end of February.

NFA said I-Rice looks like brown rice and costs P27 per kilo on retail. (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)


Downtrend in Undernutrition Noted Among Pre-schoolers, School Children
by Elsa S. Subong

PIA Press Release
Thursday, February 17, 2011

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) – A downtrend in the prevalence of under nutrition among pre-school and school children in Western Visayas is expected with the pro-poor programs of the government.

Nona Tad-y, Regional Coordinator of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) said the 2010 OPT report showed that from 12.99 in the year 2006, the prevalence of under nutrition went down to 8.52 in 2010, with a declining trend in between: 11.71 in 2007, 10.77 in 2008 and 9.47 in 2009.

Tad-y said the factors that may have contributed to this are the nutrition programs implemented by the government agencies like the DSWD and the Department of Education, through the accelerated hunger mitigation program.

On the prevalence of under nutrition among school children, DepEd’s 2010-2011 Baseline Report, showed that from 17.80 in 2006, it rose to 25.94 in 2007, to 27.69 in 2008, down to 23.92 in 2009 and lower to 18.66 in 2010.

Tad-y said the trend is not steady, implying that one in every five children is still underweight, but this can still go down with intensified nutrition campaigns in schools and implementation of anti-hunger programs that benefit families, like the Pantawid Pamilya.

Tad-y, however, said that this downtrend might be adversely affected again when the Philippines will be adopting the World Health organization (WHO) International Reference Standard for height and weight factoring on age.

Meanwhile, as to prevalence of under nutrition among grade levels, NNC-6 records showed that there were more underweight in Grade 1 (19.46), followed by Grade 4 and the lowest underweight were found in Grade 3.

Tad-y said this despite the Food-For-School, because not all were targeted then by the program, and the on and off implementation.

“ Also, the fact that Grade 1 pupils may still be adjusting to more rigorous schooling, hence may be affected by stress,” Tad-y said.

As to ranking of provinces according to prevalence of under nutrition among pre-school children, Antique is highest with 12.79, followed by Iloilo, 10.50, Negros occidental 7.46, Aklan, 7.22, Capiz, 5.51, and Guimaras, 5.16.

Antique was also on top with14.29 in 2009, Iloilo with 11.86, Aklan with 7.89 and Negros Occidental with 7.74.

As to ranking of cities, Escalante and Sipalay in Negros Occidental were still high in the prevalence of under nutrition among Pre-Schoolers, while Estancia and Carles in Iloilo were top among the nutritionally depressed municipalities.

Tad-y presented the report during the first quarter meeting of the Regional Nutrition Council Meeting held February 15. (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

Estimated Population
2008 - 2010

























  Mt. Province  




Baguio City








Source: DOH-CAR




The Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN), 2011-2016 is the country's response to malnutrition.  An integral component and as a companion plan of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), 2011-2016, PPAN provides the framework for improving the nutritional status of Filipinos.  The NNC believes that nutrition should and would have influence and would be influenced by other concerns in the PDP -- from pursuit of inclusive growth to macroeconomic policy, industry, agriculture and fisheries, infrastructure, governance, peace and security, and environment and natural resources.  

The PPAN, like the PDP is also anchored on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly those related to nutrition that targets halving the 1990 levels of underweight among under-fives and or households with inadequate energy intake.

The PPAN takes off from the nutrition situation as determined by the 2008 national nutrition survey and in essence, there is a need to catch up with many of the targets, and at the same time sustain and protect gains already achieved. The PPAN presents the following challenges that should be addressed:

  a. Hunger

  b. Child undernutrition

  c. Maternal undernutrition

  d. Deficiencies in iron, iodine and vitamin A

  e. Obesity and overweight

The PPAN 2011-2016 aims to address the nutrition situation, providing a guide for all who want to be involved in nutrition action. It lays out targets, directions, and priority actions, among others.

Actions to address nutritional problems and achieve the targets will be based on several guiding principles, that include, among others, a human-rights perspective that recognizes that good nutrition is a basic human right. As such, each Filipino and Filipino family, as claim holders are responsible for the attainment of the nutritional well-being of the families and family members. Government and others in the development sector, as duty bearers, have the responsibility to assist those who are unable as of yet to enjoy the right to good nutrition.


The PPAN builds on past national plans. Many nurition and related interventions have been implemented in the past with varying degrees of success. The current PPAN builds on these experiences to identify a mix of strategies and interventions.


For more information about the PPAN, write or call:

Assistant Secretary of Health Maria-Bernardita T. Flores, CESO II
Executive Director IV, National Nutrition Council
Nutrition Building, 2332 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Taguig City
Telephone numbers 8435838; 8435832; 8435818
Fax number 8435818; 8435834
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

What is hunger?

As defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, hunger is a condition in which people do not get enough food to provide the nutrients for fully productive, active and healthy lives.  It is a form of food insecurity and if prolonged and severe, hunger could lead to malnutrition characterized by stunting or failure to grow, mental and physical retardation, functional deterioration even collapse, and unproductive adult lives.

What is the hunger incidence of the country?

  • Involuntary hunger as measured by the quarterly hunger surveys of the Social Weather Stations in 2010 revealed that many Filipinos experience hunger.
  • Of the 81 provinces in the country, 49 provinces were considered food insecure based on a study by the National Nutrition Council.


Area and Families Affected










Severe Hunger





No.  of Families (‘000)





Moderate Hunger





No. of  Families (‘000)





Total Hunger Incidence





No. of Families (‘000)





National Capital Region





Balance Luzon
















Why do Filipinos go hungry?

Filipinos go hungry because they do not have food to eat or it is insufficient and they do not have money to buy food. 

Why the need to immediately address hunger?

  • Every individual has the right to adequate food.  Thus,  it is the responsibility of the State to ensure the food security of its people.  Where hunger is prevalent, it is also a development issue hindering economic growth and keeping millions trapped in poverty.
  • The Philippines is committed to eradicate all forms of human deprivation, including hunger and poverty, by 2015 through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 


What is the government’s response to hunger?
The Hunger-Mitigation Program (HMP) initially had two major components, the Food for School Program and Tindahan Natin

  1. Food for School Program (FSP) - involves the provision of 1 kilo of iron-fortified rice daily for 120 days to families who suffer from severe hunger through preschool and elementary school children and children in day care centers.
  2. Tindahan Natin - ensures availability of basic commodities (e.g. rice and instant noodles) at lower prices for poor families.

Initial implementation of the FSP and Tindahan Natin covered the National Capital Region and 49 provinces classified as vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition under the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS) developed by an inter-agency task force led by NNC. 

What is the Accelerated Hunger-Mitigation Program (AHMP)?

  • Alarmed with the increasing hunger incidence, President Arroyo issued a directive in July 2006 for an all-out drive to cut hunger incidence by half within one year under the Accelerated Hunger-Mitigation Program.
  • NNC was given oversight function to ensure the implementation of programs and projects within the AHMP framework.
  • Hunger must be addressed in a holistic manner.  On the supply side, measures are along producing more food and efficient delivery of food to whom and where it is needed.  These are done through programs of the DA and DENR, among others.
  • On the demand side, measures are along putting more money in poor peoples’ pockets, promoting good nutrition and managing population levels.
  • AHMP is in turn, a component of the pump-priming strategy of government which seeks to
    • generate investments;
    • create jobs; and
    • provide basic services to poor families
  • Executive Order 616 (April 2007) created the Anti-Hunger Task Force composed of 29 national government agencies to implement the component programs of AHMP.  The Secretary of Health, as Chair of the NNC Governing Board is also the Lead of the Anti-Hunger Task Force.
  • These agencies include:
    • Department of Agrarian Reform
      • Presidential Agrarian Reform Council
    • Department of Agriculture
      • Bureau of Animal Industry
      • Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
      • Bureau of Plant Industry
      • Coconut Industry Investment Fund
      • National Food Authority
      • National Irrigation Administration
      • Philippine Coconut Authority
    • Department of Budget and Management
    • Department of Environment and Natural Resources
      • · Philippine Forest Corporation
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Health
      • Commission on Population
      • National Nutrition Council
    • Department of the Interior and Local Government
      • Philippine National Police
    • Department of Labor and Employment
      • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
    • Department of Public Works and Highways
    • Department of Social Welfare and Development
    • Department of Transportation and Communication
      • Philippine Ports Authority
    • National Economic and Development Authority
    • Office of the President
      • Commission on Higher Education
      • National Anti-Poverty Commission
      • Metro Manila Development Authority
    • People’s Credit and Finance Corporation
    • Armed Forces of the Philippines
    • Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines/National Secretariat for Social Action


 Which are the AHMP areas?

AHMP is implemented in groups of provinces categorized by priority.

Priority One Provinces (food-poorest) – based on subsistence incidence (2003 Family and Income Expenditure Survey)

  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Mountain Province
  • Masbate
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Maguindanao
  • Camarines Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Sarangani
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • NCR – all cities and municipalities


Priority Two Provinces (poorest provinces) – based on 2003 FIES

  • Surigao del Sur
  • Camarines Sur
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Samar
  • Biliran
  • Marinduque
  • Kalinga
  • Lanao del Sur
  • Sulu
  • Romblon
  • Antique
  • Davao Oriental
  • Palawan
  • Negros Oriental
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Abra
  • Bukidnon
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Tawi-Tawi

Priority Three Provinces (with existing hunger mitigation programs)

  • Leyte
  • Eastern Samar
  • Camiguin
  • Northern Samar
  • La Union
  • Southern Leyte
  • Ifugao
  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Quezon
  • Davao del Norte
  • Albay
  • Davao del Sur
  • Sorsogon
  • Cotabato
  • Aklan
  • South Cotabato
  • Iloilo
  • Apayao
  • Negros Occidental
  • Capiz
  • Catanduanes
  • Basilan
  • Bohol
  • Agusan del Norte

Muling ipagdiriwang ng bansa ang Nutrition Month ngayong Hulyo. Ang tema sa taong ito ay “Sa pagkaing tama at sapat, wastong timbang ni baby ang katapat!” upang bigyang diin ang kahalagahan ng complementary feeding bilang isang stratehiya upang maiwasan ang malnutrisyon sa sanggol at bata. Maraming mga sanggol na may edad anim na buwan pataas ay malnourished dahil:

  • hindi sapat ang dami at kalidad ng mga pagkain
  • maling pamamaraan sa pagpapakain sa bata, at
  • sa sakit at impeksyon

Ano ang complementary feeding at bakit ito mahalaga?

  • Ang complementary feeding ay ang pagbibigay ng ibang mga pagkain at likido sa mga sanggol simula sa kaniyang ika-anim na kumpletong buwan habang ipinagpapatuloy ang pagpapasuso.
  • Ang angkop na complementary feeding kasama ng patuloy na pagpapasuso ay nagtataguyod ng pinakamabuting paglaki at kalagayan ng mga
    bata at sanggol, at hinahadlangan nito ang pagiging bansot ng mga batang may edad 6 hangang 24 buwan.
  • Kahit na may patuloy na pagpapasuso, ang mga bata ay nagiging bansot kapag hindi sila makakatanggap ng sapat na dami at kalidad na complementary foods pagkaraan ng anim na buwan.
  • Ang pagiging malnourished sa unang dalawang taon ng buhay ay mayroong malaking epekto hindi lamang sa isang indibidwal kundi pati na rin sa buong bansa.

"Wastong nutrisyon kailangan, lifestyle diseases iwasan!" ang napiling tema ngayong 2009 para bigyang pansin ang kahalagahan ng wastong nutrisyon para maiwasan at makontrol ang lifestyle diseases. Layunin ng Buwan ng Nutrisyon sa taong ito na magkaroon ng malawakang pagkilos para ang lahat ay magkaroon ng wastong nutrisyon.

Ang lifestyle diseases o mga sakit na hindi nakakahawa (non-communicable diseases or NCDs) ay may kinalaman sa pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay. 

  • Kasama sa lifestyle diseases ang sakit sa puso, kanser, diabetes mellitus, at mga sakit sa baga.
  • Ang mga ito ay pangunahing dahilan ng pagkamatay at pagkakasakit.  
  • Ang mga kalagayang nagiging sanhi o risk factors ng lifestyle diseases ay:
  • Kulang sa ehersisyo
  • Paninigarilyo
  • Pag-inom ng alak
  • Pagiging mataba
  • Hindi tamang pagkain
  • Malnutrisyon
  • Ang pagkakaroon ng lifestyle diseases ay nagsisimula sa sinapupunan pa lamang at ito ay maaring magpatuloy hanggang sa pagtanda kung hindi ito agad matutugunan. 

Nutrition Month (NM) is held every July to focus the general public’s attention on nutrition along a chosen theme. The National Nutrition Council (NNC) and local government units are mandated to coordinate the celebration of Nutrition Month (Section 7, Presidential Decree No. 491 or Nutrition Act of the Philippines, 25 June 1974).

This year, the country is celebrating the 34th Nutrition Month with the theme “Sa wastong nutrisyon ni mommy, siguradong healthy si baby!” to emphasize the importance of proper health and good nutrition among pregnant and would-be pregnant women for improved nutrition of the baby.  It also stresses the importance of proper nutrition before, during, and, after pregnancy for a healthy mother and baby.

What is Nutrition Month (NM)?

The NM celebration is celebrated every July (Section 7 of the Presidential Decree No. 491 or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines, 25 June 1974) to build awareness on nutrition along a chosen theme. The National Nutrition Council together with local government units are mandated to coordinate its celebration nationwide. The celebration of NM is now on its 33rd year.

For 2007, NM is focused on adolescents (10-19 years) with the theme, “Healthy lifestyle ng kabataan, landas sa kinabukasan!” The theme focuses on the nutrition and health needs of Filipino adolescents particularly on the consumption of nutritious food to prepare them for adulthood and the practice of healthy lifestyle to stay fit and healthy.

MDG-F 2030: Ensuring Food Security and Nutrition for Children 0-24 Months in the Philippines


2003 NDHS data show that only 33.5% of infants below six months old in the Philippines were exclusively breastfed, and about 19.7% of infants did not receive any breastmilk at all. The impact of current poor breastfeeding and improper infant and young child feeding in the Philippines has been devastating – resulting to an additional 1.2 million cases of diarrhea and pneumonia episodes, and about 16,000 out of 82,000 under-five deaths every year.

This joint programme aims to complement the national government’s efforts to promote infant and young child feeding, focusing on the creation of an enabling environment where breastfeeding is protected, promoted, and supported by the community as a whole.

Specifically, the joint programme’s target outcomes are:                                                     

  • Increased exclusive breastfeeding rate by 20% annually in 6 joint programme areas
  • Reduced prevalence of undernutrition among children 6-24 months old by 3% by 2012
  • Improved capacities of the national government, local governments, employers and workers, and other stakeholders to formulate, promote, and implement appropriate policies and programs on infant and young child feeding

Focal Points:

Jona Cabaguio, Programme Coordinator
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Pura Rayco-Solon – Nutrition Specialist
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Page 4 of 7

Bkdrop_NSCR6The National Nutrition Council of the Department of Health Nutriskwela Community Radio Project was born of a need for a long-term and cost-efficient strategy to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition in the Philippines in conjunction with current anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs of government.






KBiyaya-logoKatumbas ay Biyaya Season 7 is a 30-minute radio program that tackles nutrition and health related topics. The program airs on DZRH every Saturday, 10:30 - 11:00 am.


Radyo Mo sa Nutrisyon

Radyo Mo sa Nutrisyon aims to educate the general public on nutrition and the coping strategies to address poverty and hunger among poor households, specifically on reducing rice plate waste, increasing consumption of affordable alternative sources of nutrients, practicing exclusive breastfeeding and...


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