2nd Year CROWN Maintenance Award
Talavera, Nueva Ecija
Taking the competition to the next level - amplifying nutrition actions!
Talavera takes on the challenge of defending their CROWN Title, highlighting efforts on strengthening good nutrition practices among the First 1000 Days.
The Heart of Sustainable Development
Surrounded by vast agricultural lands, Talavera is one of the 32 local government units (LGUs) that sits at the heart of the Nueva Ecija province in Central Luzon region. Exponentially developing throughout the years an agricultural municipality, 80% of Talavera’s population is engaged in farming. Surplus production of agricultural products like rice and various vegetables, clean and green under the Gulayan program is achieved by planting vegetables, fruit trees in all idle lands and backyards. Agri-tourism opened a lot of opportunities in agro-processing such as production of condiments, organic fertilizers, and milk and dairy products. The annual festival Gatas ng Kalabaw (Carabao Milk Festival) gives spotlight to this strength.
The Municipal Nutrition Committee (MNC) chaired by Mayor Nerivi Santos-Martinez envisions normal nutritional status of children in the long run through early stages of intervention for their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Considering the municipality’s strong agricultural industry, emerging economy, and continuing efforts in sustaining nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs, Talavera is stronger than ever, armed with passion to serve, and perseverance in carrying-on the crown.
Advancing to the next level
One of the commendable interventions of the municipality of Talavera is the implementation of the First 1000 Days program. This is in accordance with their mission to improve the holistic development of their children through the continuous provision of age-appropriate interventions. Aside from maintaining all its 53 breastfeeding corners in each barangay, breastfeeding advocacy activities are also done on the ground, with documented peer counselors conducting breastfeeding sessions. Similarly, a training on complementary feeding and capacity building activities were conducted targeting the pregnant and lactating women. Additionally, a 120-day supplementary feeding program was done for thirty-two 6-23 months old underweight children in 19 barangays with 100% accomplishment resulted in a significant improvement in their weight.
The presence of DepEd in MNC meetings and the Search for School Based Feeding Program (SBFP) Best Implementer Awarding shows mutual relationship and cooperation between the Municipal Nutrition Committee and DepEd. Moreover, in support of the DO 8, S. 2007 or the “Revised Implementing Guidelines on the Operation and Management of school Canteens in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools,” DepEd of Talavera promotes the use of iodized salt to all parents and students through house-to-house visits. To maximize these visits, promotion of Vitamin A was also done by the school nutrition coordinators, school canteen managers, and Barangay Health Workers.
As mentioned, Talavera, as an agricultural municipality, continues to implement nutrition-sensitive programs that address food security through supplemental household income. This includes their flagship program “Gulayan sa Barangay, Paaralan at Bakuran”, which aims to address hunger and malnutrition and the problem of solid waste and pollution in the environment. Aside from the long-running gulayan program, the municipality also 1) distributes poultry livestock/fingerlings; 2) establishes fishponds and processing centers; and3) provides materials/financial assistance linked with market outlet to vulnerable and indigent families. Six public markets were also funded with P100,000 for the "Palengke sa Barangay” Skills training on baking for Livelihood, Nutribun and Veggie Pandesal.
Equipped and Empowered
With the support of their local chief executive Mayor Martinez, the MNC, the 19 barangay nutrition committees, and the cooperation of the residents in the municipality, there is a continuous decrease in the prevalence of stunting from 3.90% in 2017 to 2.9% in 2019 for 0-59 months old children. The implementation of their programs and interventions were strengthened by enabling policies such as 1) Resolution to approve the municipal nutrition action plan (MNAP) and its budget; 2) an Ordinance in Creating a Food Bank in the Municipality of Talavera and Providing Guidelines for the Donation, Operation, Storage and Distribution of Healthy and Nutritious Cooked Meals to the Less Fortunate Community Members of the Municipality of Talavera, and 3) a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Ang Sustansya at Kalusugan Itinataguyod (ASKI) Foundation, Inc. for the Vitamin Angels Nutrition Program, which seeks to ensure that children under-five and infants to be born will not suffer from malnutrition through the annual provision of multivitamins and Albendazole. There is also EO No. 77-A, s. 2019, “An Order Organizing the Milk Code Monitoring Team” accompanied with the roles of each member in ensuring the efficient implementation of EO 51.
The municipality of Talavera together with their Municipal Nutrition Action Officer (MNAO) Mr. Arjhay Bernardo, values human resources as an essential part of carrying out nutrition programs down to the barangay level. Thus, the approval of EO 38 s. 2019 “An Order Providing A Separate Nutrition Office With Full Time Municipal Nutrition Action Officer with Technical Support Staff” established the duties and responsibilities of nutrition staff as follows:(1) Designated MNAO in charge of the operation and management of the nutrition office; (2) Nutrition Officer III assigned to monitor the programs; (3) Assistant Nutritionist-Dietitian assigned to spearhead implementation; and (4) Nutrition Coordinator assigned to the coordination and implementation of programs. Furthermore, local nutrition workers from MNAO to BNS are well trained with mandated training and refresher courses and additional training and seminars from other organizations.
With the process of becoming a city already in place, the Municipality of Talavera is ready to prove its readiness and consistency as a food-secure, robust, and nutrition-strong municipality, ready to maintain its CROWN Award next year. Keep your CROWN shining, Talavera!
Julia Marie S. Los Baños, RND
Nutrition Officer II
Nutrition Surveillance Division
National Nutrition Council