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.


The European Chamber of the Philippines invited Assistant Secretary Azucena M. Dayanghirang as speaker and panelist during the hybrid advocacy event entitled Building a Healthier Philippines : Strengthening Partnership and Policies for Nutrition  on August 31, 2022 held in Ascott Hotel, Makati City.  

The said event aimed to raise awareness on the significance of nutrition in the country’s plight towards recovery and provided attendees insights on how the public and private sectors can work together to achieve food and nutrition security. It also featured discussions on the plans and programs of the new administration on food insecurity as well as  promote nutrition and multi-stakeholder dialogues on innovative solutions and improve nutrition outcomes  .

NNC Executive Director – Asec. Dayanghirang shared about the Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project and possible areas for collaboration between the Public and Private Sector .

She discussed the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN)  2023-2028 Framework that captures the following imperatives:

First, various nutrition interventions (specific, sensitive, and enabling) will continue to guide the organization of PPAN interventions in the next six (6) years, carried out through multisectoral and multilevel collaboration.

Second, complementing this are the Lancet Framework for Actions to Achieve Optimum Fetal and Child Nutrition Development and the ASEAN conceptual framework of Malnutrition to show the benefits of optimum nutrition during the life course when the immediate and underlying causes of malnutrition have been properly addressed.

Third, the combined interventions aim to address outcome targets to reduce stunting and wasting, reduce overweight and micronutrient deficiencies, and reduce low birth weight.

The Philippines, being a member of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, applies a multistakeholder and multisectoral approach to ensure that the PPAN and Sustainable Development Goals are achieved by 2028 and 2030.

The National Nutrition Council serves as the platform for multisectoral engagement by uniting the government, academe and researchers, business, civil society, United Nations, donors, and development partners to work collectively and collaboratively by bringing together the people and resources needed to rapidly scale up nutrition-specific interventions as well as implement cross-sector strategies that are nutrition-sensitive.

The fight against malnutrition may seem to be an endless battle especially now that our country is suffering from a triple burden of malnutrition where undernutrition, overnutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies co-exist exacerbated further by the increasing prevalence of involuntary hunger and unprecedented crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we have the upper hand. To avert this looming situation, we must continue to create strong public-private partnership, promoting multisectoral collaboration between and among sectors. Together, let us work towards building a healthier Philippines!” said Asec. Dayanghirang as she concluded her presentation.