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.

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ChildFund Philippines and its local partner organizations gathered for a program learning forum to lay-out and level-off program quality standards as they implement interventions  to address the root causes of deprivation,  exclusion  and vulnerability situations and experiences of children and youth.

As they recognizes their partners’ contribution to their program principles, strategies and innovative initiatives which can  be replicated and scaled up to deepen their commitment  to children’s well-being and improve the program delivery to achieve greater impacts in the  lives of children and youth , their families and communities , ChildFund invited all their partners in a Forum. Such was a gathering of all key players purported  to reflect and share accomplishments , learn together from the challenges and failures and make meaning out of this experience to continue to strive to be more relevant by adapting to current trends and responding to most pressing issues impacting children and youth . This partners forum will serve as a venue to learn from gainful experience through life-stage program implementations and discuss ChildFunds strategic directions .

Asec. Azucena M. Dayanghirang, Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council was one of the speakers they invited to share about the First 1000 Days Manual of Operations .

The Manual of Operations is  designed to aid in strengthening the local government units’ (LGU’s) integrated strategy to implement the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act of 2018.

It outlines the steps that LGUs and other stakeholders can take to identify their integrated first 1000 days strategy.  It provides guidance for program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. It defines the  roles and responsibilities per stakeholder and across governance levels (national to barangay).  It delineates the roles and functions among frontline workers.

The Manual of Operations is primarily for the direct implementing level, other members of the local nutrition committee as well as national government agencies, and development partners, to enable them to undertake their roles effectively, especially along supporting the implementing levels of the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng MagNanay Act of 2018.

“The first 1000 days of a child’s life is a critical window of opportunity that sets out their future path in life. That’s why we worked to place this important issue on the Philippine agenda, since many Filipino children still suffer from malnutrition. A third of them are stunted and/or suffer from deficiencies in essential micronutrients. Less than 10 percent of Filipino children are consuming the minimum acceptable diet. Because of poverty and exclusion, women and children from the poorest and most disadvantaged communities face the greatest risk for all forms of malnutrition, “ Asec. Apet reiterated and stressed out during her presentation.

The passage of RA 11148 or the First 1000 Days Law on Nov 18, 2018 provides the enabling environment for the sustained provision of critical early childcare interventions for the first 1000 days of a child’s life, for optimal growth and development. It ensures that a child’s future is protected from the devastating effects of malnutrition. The Act calls for a strengthened and integrated strategy especially at the barangay level.

“With the MOPr in our hands, I believe that all stakeholders will be provided with invaluable guidance on how to implement efficient First 1000 Days (F1KD+) services that will achieve good outcomes. The MOPr also provides guidance on how to use local and national data to better understand the strengths and limitations of the F1KD+ services and interventions, along with advice on planning and programming following the budget cycle; developing innovations; and in evaluating interventions and projects,” the NNC Executive Director further pointed out.


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