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.


To free more Filipinos from hunger and achieve food security, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger has drafted the National Food Policy (NFP) that will outline the government's priorities and map efforts to achieve zero hunger. Initiatives for reducing hunger, ensuring food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture were identified under the National Food Policy. The Zero Hunger Task Force, led by the Cabinet Secretary, has identified six key results areas (KRAs)—each with its own working group, stratified priorities, and experts to ensure that each is on track to be fulfilled by 2030.


Twenty-twenty-two (2022), the year of implementation of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022 or PPAN, the country’s blueprint of integrated programs to address the persistent problem of malnutrition among Filipinos. Has PPAN been able to meet its goal of achieving and maintaining the nutritional well-being of Filipinos?

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. 

0419 Online Workshop

With the Knowledge and Research for Nutrition project, the European Commission has set up a pool of experts – the Nutrition Research Facility (NRF), which aims to provide improved knowledge and evidence for policy and programme design, management, and monitoring & evaluation to reach better nutrition outcomes. The NRF also provides expert advice to the European Commission and to the European Union (EU) Member States and Partner Countries. On 19-20 April 2022, the NRF held a regional virtual workshop for Asia to identify relevant research questions about nutrition issues in the country.

0411 WFP Meeting


The World Food Programme (WFP) Philippines met by teleconference on 8 April 2022, with the office of Cabinet Secretary Melvin Matibag and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to discuss collaboration in strengthening rice fortification in the Philippines. The social safety net programs in the Philippines that distribute rice as a commodity, the current gaps in the implementation and regulation of the rice fortification program, and ways forward for rice fortification in the Philippines with the help of WFP are just a few of the topics that were discussed.

Rice, the staple in all regions in the Philippines, is an excellent vehicle for fortification. Through its operations, the World Food Programme Philippines has continued to push for the availability of affordable, locally produced, variety nutritional food and the usage of fortified rice. These activities help to reinforce the Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000, also known as Republic Act No. 8976, as well as its implementing rules and regulations. In fact, the iron fortification project in Mindanao demonstrated the practicality and scalability of iron fortification in the Philippines.

0412 LGA and NNC

With the goal of promoting the national nutrition agenda by strengthening capacity development for the local government sector, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) and the Local Government Academy (LGA) signed a three-year agreement on 11 April 2022 and established an institutional partnership that aims to align and harmonize all capacity development initiatives at the national and local levels, towards a unified direction of strengthening local governance. Both the LGA and NNC are committed to the goal of eliminating all forms of malnutrition, which is in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Goals and Ambisyon Natin 2040.