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Directors Bio 3471 2756

AZUCENA MILANA-DAYANGHIRANG, MD, MCH, CESO III
ASSISTANT SECRETARY and EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
NATIONAL NUTRITION COUNCIL

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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NNC Executive Director and Assistant Secretary Azucena M. Dayanghirang was invited as one of the resource speakers  of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) in their Women’s Dialogue on September 20, 2022 held at Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City.

The said event was participated by women leaders from urban and peri-urban areas, women-lead organizations ( CSOs and NGOs) , women officers and members of the  Agricultural and Fishery Councils , National Government Agencies and  representatives of the Department of Agriculture . Said occasion served as a venue to identify policy gaps and supportive policies that are needed to create a favorable enabling environment for planned way forward initiatives relative to food security , nutrition and environmental stewardship .

Asec. Apet Dayanghirang shared the topic on “ Women as Catalytic Partners in Food Security, Environmental Stewardship and Nutrition.”

Since malnutrition poses a variety of threats to women brought upon by different influencing factors, Asec. Apet pointed out on the need for different evidence-based, cost-effective interventions that can improve nutrition outcomes among women population.

She  also elaborated on  NNC’s initiatives in promoting and maintaining good nutrition through the agency’s different frameworks and initiatives as  malnutrition saps the strength and well-being of millions of girls and women around the world.

Citing from the statement of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), “more often than not, the face of malnutrition is female”. A fundamental cornerstone of any individual’s health, adequate nutrition is especially critical for women because inadequate nutrition wreaks havoc not only on women’s own health but also on the health of their children. Children of malnourished women are more likely to face cognitive impairments, short stature, lower resistance to infections, and a higher risk of disease and death throughout their lives.”

“ As torchbearers for good nutrition, we now call on your commitment in helping us address malnutrition ;

  • as Women agents of change, we hope that you could coordinate with the Local Nutrition Committees and join in the LNAP formulation, focusing on the first 1000 days program to ensure proper nutrition among our constituents.
  • as Women initiators of change, we ask for your participation and support in the agencies' implementation of the nutrition programs.
  • and lastly, as women targets for information, we hope that you could organize and mobilize communities and women-led organizations, and be able to identify other agents and drivers of change for the success of our nutrition programs. Napakaraming mga programa na tayo ay makakatulong para marating natin ang Nutrisyong Sapat para sa Lahat! Sama sama nating itaguyod ito !  ”, said Asec. Dayanghirang as she wrapped-up her presentation.

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