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.

picture 3rd mancon 2020

Headed by Executive Director Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang, the management of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) gathered virtually for the 3rd Quarterly Management Conference (ManCon), s.2020 on 28-29 September and 2 October 2020. Along with Executive Director Dayanghirang, the management is composed of the 17 Regional Nutrition Program Coordinators (RNPCs) and 5 Division Chiefs of the NNC central office (CO).

It has been a usual practice for the Division Chiefs of the NNC CO to present updates, accomplishments, and concerns of their divisions. However, considering that we are facing challenges brought about by COVID-19 and that the regional offices (ROs)are directly acting or coordinating at the regional level to address these, RNPCs were requested to report instead. Included in their presentations were the following: 1) accomplishments as of 15 September;    2) good news from the ROs such as factors that contributed to the implementation of planned activities even with COVID-19 as well as good practices on COVID response that can be replicated in other regions; 3) challenges that affected the implementation of planned activities; and 4) corrective measures to ensure that the challenges encountered are addressed.

dilg webinar v3

The National Nutrition Council (NNC) takes part in the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Webinar on “Ensuring Food Security and Proper Nutrition to Fight COVID-19” held on 16 July 2020. The webinar aimed at sharing policies and programs of the national government in improving nutrition, achieving food security, and promoting agriculture to all Local Government Units (LGUs).  More than 600 participants attended the webinar consisting of provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, leagues of local governments, nutrition action officers, members of the local nutrition committees and member agencies of the Inter-agency Task Force on Zero Hunger.

NNC Executive Director Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang discussed the topic “Better Nutrition in the New Normal”, where she highlighted the strategic role of local governments as partners of the national government in addressing food security and proper nutrition amidst the pandemic.

“Our theme for this year is Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL… Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL! Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19! Ensuring nutrition for all Filipino families is needed more than ever and we are counting on local government units to Sama All… to craft strategies in building resilient communities and people through nutrition by achieving better nutrition in the new normal as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and future shocks.” – Dr. Dayanghirang

Sun Delegates

Right before the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic grew to an alarming rate in the Philippines, 110 delegates representing 55 civil society organizations gathered last March 5, 2020 at Hive hotel, Quezon City. They tackled how to work together to improve the nutrition of Filipinos; a very timely discussion when there’s no antidote to the virus other than good personal hygiene and boosting our immunity through good health and nutrition.

Nutrition Month Campaign

The NNC spearheaded the virtual launching of the 2020 Nutrition Month campaign through the Laging Handa Public Briefing hosted by Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on 1 July 2020 aired over PTV4. The TV program featured NNC’s Executive Director Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang who shared key messages in the annual campaign.

In her interview, Dr. Dayanghirang discussed the importance of the Nutrition Month campaign as a channel for raising awareness of the country’s most pressing issues in nutrition.  This year’s campaign aims to catalyze actions to address stunting with the theme “Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL… Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL! Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19”.

According to World Health Organization, stunting in the Philippines remains to be of high magnitude and severity. Based on the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey conducted by DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute, one out of three Filipino children under five years of age is stunted. This places the Philippines among the top 10 countries with the highest prevalence of stunted under-five children in the world.

image article on business networkThe National Nutrition Council (NNC) Executive Director Azucena M. Dayanghirang and Focal Point of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Global here in the Philippines, with the assistance of the top honchos from the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Nutrition International (NI) led the first-ever Philippine SUN Business Network (SBN) Meeting held last 28 February in Makati City.

ASEAN videocon article

Adopting to the new normal, the Philippines, as lead country for the ASEAN Strategic Framework and Action Plan for Nutrition 2018-2030, virtually convened the nutrition focal points of the (ten) 10 ASEAN Member States last 18 June 2020. The agenda of the video conference was to discuss the progress of the activities in the ASEAN Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Nutrition. In attendance were thirty-three (33) participants composed of the nutrition focal points from all ten ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat Health Division of the Human Development Directorate and the Philippine delegation  from the Department of Health and National Nutrition Council led by NNC Executive Director and chair of the meeting, Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang.

In her opening remarks, the Chair of the meeting encouraged her fellow country nutrition focal points to carry on with the commitment to end all forms of malnutrition even amidst COVID-19 and take this as an opportunity for health and nutrition to generate the support and prioritization it deserves.