Directors Bio 3471 2756


Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang is an experienced public health leader. For the past 29 years, she has been a facilitator and a trainer for various health programs particularly on Maternal Child Health and Nutrition. She has served the people of Davao as City Nutrition Action Officer from 1991-1995; Chief of the Technical Services Division and Medical Officer VI of Davao City Health Office from 1996 to 2005; as well as the Provincial Health Officer II and Provincial Nutrition Action Officer of Davao del Sur from 2008 to 2016.

During her stint in the local government, she led the City Nutrition Committee in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health and nutrition programs. She initiated the “Fresh Milk Supplemental Feeding Program,” which led to the reduction of protein-energy malnutrition among 0-6-year-old children. She also successfully lobbied for the regularization of 32 Nutritionist-Dietitians deployed in the 16 Districts of Davao City in 1996.

In 2016, she was elected as the National President of the Nutrition Action Officers' Association of the Philippines (NAOPA), Inc. Shortly after, she was appointed as Deputy Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), an attached agency of the Department of Health, Philippines. In August 2019, Dr. Dayanghirang was appointed as the Executive Director of the NNC. Currently, she is designated as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Philippines Government Focal Point and most recently, appointed as a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement representing Asia and Papua New Guinea.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the appointment of Dr. Dayanghirang to Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) Rank III effective 3 December 2020. Recently, she was upgraded to Executive Director IV with the rank of Assistant Secretary as approved by President Duterte through Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea on 21 July 2021.

0411 Kwentuhang Bulilit

On 8 April 2022, Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Azucena M. Dayanghirang talked about Supporting Early Childhood Nutrition with the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Council’s Kwentuhang Bulilit Episode. Parents, teachers, and caregivers learned why nutrition is so important in early childhood development and how it can help children reach their full potential.

Asec. Dayanghirang mentioned the significant role of nutrition in every stage of life, but most importantly during the early years of a child. She also discussed nutrition-specific programs, which aim to target direct factors of malnutrition, such as Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Program, Dietary Supplementation Feeding Program, Tutok Kainan, and Micronutrient Supplementation Program. While nutrition-sensitive programs, or those interventions that address the underlying causes, such as food security, access to services, and the environment, includes Idol Ko si Nanay and Idol Ko si Tatay learning sessions for the First 1000 days of life, WASH in Schools (WinS) Program, Food production in schools or Gulayan sa Paaralan, and supervised neighborhood play. 

According to Asec. Dayanghirang, nutrition programs and interventions could be scaled up and overall holistic development could be ensured by adopting a multi-sectoral approach, which is essential in providing proper nutrition in early childhood. She added that while it is the primary responsibility of parents to nurture their children, society has a role to play in ensuring that all children grow up to be productive members of our society. She concluded that children have the right to proper nutrition, just as they do to adequate food.


Author: OED - Pam Pescador