The National Nutrition Council (NNC) takes part in the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Webinar on “Ensuring Food Security and Proper Nutrition to Fight COVID-19” held on 16 July 2020. The webinar aimed at sharing policies and programs of the national government in improving nutrition, achieving food security, and promoting agriculture to all Local Government Units (LGUs). More than 600 participants attended the webinar consisting of provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, leagues of local governments, nutrition action officers, members of the local nutrition committees and member agencies of the Inter-agency Task Force on Zero Hunger.
NNC Executive Director Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang discussed the topic “Better Nutrition in the New Normal”, where she highlighted the strategic role of local governments as partners of the national government in addressing food security and proper nutrition amidst the pandemic.
“Our theme for this year is Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL… Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL! Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19! Ensuring nutrition for all Filipino families is needed more than ever and we are counting on local government units to Sama All… to craft strategies in building resilient communities and people through nutrition by achieving better nutrition in the new normal as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and future shocks.” – Dr. Dayanghirang
Dr. Dayanghirang calls on local governments through the nutrition committees to prioritize and invest in nutrition; to craft policies, strategies, and nutrition interventions within their local context and facilitate action for the protection of the vulnerable sectors. All under the context of the new normal. She also reaffirmed NNC’s commitment in assisting local governments in their journey in achieving better nutritional outcomes for the country. She also urged the local governments to participate in the NNC online workshop in integrating nutrition in the 2021 Annual Investment Program through the registration link: www.bit.ly/nutrition2021aip.
The opening message of DILG Undersecretary Marivel C. Sacendoncillo stressed the importance of the local governments’ empathy and the provision of guidance, support, and assistance to their constituents now more than ever. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles presented Executive Order 101 on the creation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger as the platform in addressing the challenges of COVID-19 through interventions under the pillars of food security - availability, access, utilization, and stability. Key Results Areas under each pillar will be implemented by six (6) technical working groups, of which NNC is a member of the technical working group under Key Results Area 3 on Securing Nutrition Adequacy.
Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel T. Cayanan talked about Food Security and Resiliency amid COVID-19. Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) President and Quirino Province Governor Dakila Carlo E. Cua and ULAP Vice Chairperson, Laguna Province Vice Governor Katherine Agapay and Former DILG Undersecretary now Zuellig Family Foundation Executive Director Austere A. Panadero acted as members of the panel of reactors. The members of the panel all agreed on the important role of the local government units in addressing food security where U/Sec Panadero aptly noted that "Addressing nutrition is addressing COVID-19 itself." The webinar was moderated by DILG Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya.
The webinar provides the overarching framework of national government in achieving zero hunger and ending all forms of malnutrition as the country transitions to the new normal.
The webinar was organized by the DILG in partnership with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), National Nutrition Council (Official) (NNC), and Local Government Academy (LGA) in celebration of the 46th Nutrition Month this July, under the Social Services Accessibility through Good Governance and Inclusive Programs of LGUs (SAGIP LGUs).
(Daniel G. Salunga, NO II-NSD)