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For articles postingNovember 26, 2021--- The National Nutrition Council Region I (NNC1) and the Regional Nutrition Committee of Region I (RNC1) successfully recognized the nutrition champions in the region during the concluded 2021 Gawad Parangal ng Nutrisyon sa Rehiyon Uno held at J&V Homes and Resort located at Sevilia, San Fernando City, La Union and via zoom and facebook live. Hundreds of guests and delegates attended the ceremony online with limited onsite participants.

Dr. Jimuel S. Cardenas, Division Chief of the Local Health Support Division on behalf of RNC Chair, Dir. Jesus V. Lopez, MD, MPH, MHA, CESO IV warmly welcomed all the attendees and expressed his appreciation to the LGUs especially the awardees for their unending support and services they have provided for nutrition improvement.

Atty. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, Cabinet Secretary, Secretary Chairperson of IATF-ZH, and Adviser for Scaling-Up Nutrition Philippines graced the said awarding ceremony as the keynote speaker and voiced-out his appreciation to all the nutrition implementers for their hard work for congratulated them for their hard-earned and well-deserved awards. 

17 Sonnia TpngMs. Sonnia Tabocol, BNS, Quintong, San Carlos City - As a Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS), She has seen how the community has struggled with nutritional challenges primarily brought about by poor nutritional habits and choices among parents. Parents, often with a soft heart, would give in to the desires and requests of their children for unhealthy food. In other cases, it is the parent or guardian’s decision to give fast food, sweets, and other unhealthy options as a reward for good grades, deeds, or behavior.

Another issue on the nutritional problems of their barangay is the presence of poverty. Most of the time, the healthier options are more expensive than unhealthy ones and the parents have no choice but to buy the cheaper or more practical food options even though the nutritional value is lower. With the support of their Punong Barangay, they are working on reducing poverty for years to come so that families can afford to eat healthy while we continue our functions and nutrition-related programs and activities. 

14 CorazonMs. Corazon Ferrer, BNS, Malued Distict, Dagupan City - “Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.” - Mother Teresa

Corazon Ferrer is a woman who knows no limits and conditions. She started serving Barangay Malued as a Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) out of curiosity. She only wanted to experience what it was like to volunteer for her community. Little did she know that she would last for 19 years and do work beyond recording the height and weight of children. When asked what part of her job she loves doing most, Ms. Corazon could not pick one. However, she thinks the best method in implementing their programs is through interaction. She feels that if she could educate parents, especially expecting mothers, children born into this world will have a better head start.

The pandemic made it difficult for Corazon to continue doing her job. Group discussions were not allowed. She also belonged to the population group identified by the Department of Health which is most at risk of contracting COVID-19, nevertheless, these did not stop her from fulfilling her duties. "Ito po ng pandemic na ito, dito nila kailangan ang aming suporta," said Corazon. The Barangay Nutrition Council set a system for residents to continue to have access to their services such as counseling, consultation, and monitoring. She made sure to impose safety protocols. They also gave incentives to beneficiaries whose height and weight improved. Encouraging mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies and providing proper nutrition for their toddlers are sometimes met by criticisms, making her job not only physically but also psychologically challenging. "May nagrereklamo. May nagsusugal. Tuturuan mo sila para i-uplift yung sarili nila," said Corazon. This feedback inspired her to think of ways to increase the flow of resources. Since 2003, Corazon has been partnering with the private sector. Her sister, Elvira Estrada-Asigri consistently sponsors meals, groceries, and clothing for indigent residents of Brgy. Malued. 

16 Marcelina MpngMs. Marcelina Macaraeg, BNS, Brgy. Bacnono, Bayambang, Pangasinan- BNS Macaraeg previously was a BHW for nine (9) years in Barangay Bacnono, Bayambang. She started her journey as a BNS in the year 2017 and is a very active BNS until today.

Her best practices included: being present in all center days and all barangay activities; being proactive in performing duties; with complete BNS documents; always teaching/coaching her co-workers and beneficiaries.

13 Marife EpngMS. MARIFE PERMISON ESPINUEVA, BNS, Cayambanan, Urdaneta City - BNS Espinueva is a Barangay Nutrition Scholar of Barangay Cayambanan, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan.

She’s been serving the Barangay as a Barangay Health Worker since 1993 and in the year 2010, she was appointed as a Barangay Nutrition Scholar. With her hard work and with the help of the Barangay Health Workers, Barangay Cayambanan was awarded as BEST IN NUTRITION (1st Place) in Tulungan sa Purok 2019. She also helped the Barangay on achieving the 1St Runner Up award for Child-Friendly Barangay 2018.

          Marife is Urdaneta City’s very own dynamic and dedicated Barangay Nutrition Scholar. Her commitment and dedication in implementing nutrition and related activities since she started as BNS in 1993 are indeed worth Imitating.                   

               As a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she advocates health and nutrition awareness by conducting regular mother’s classes and Pabasa sa nutrisyon among parents and caregivers. Her distinctive compassion makes her an effective educator. 

15 Alma RpngMs. Alma L. Rico, BNS, San Vicente, Alaminos City - Her strong desire to improve the delivery of health services in her barangay is what spurred Ms. Alma L. Rico to apply as a Community Health Volunteer. She has been a Barangay Nutrition Scholar for four (4) years now and has since committed not only to improve herself but also to help their constituents.

As the BNS, she takes charge of the implementation of all nutrition activities in their Barangay which includes the annual Operation Timbang Plus (OPT+), monthly growth monitoring, and mothers' classes. Aside from the regular programs, she also oversees various Barangay initiative activities on health and nutrition such as distribution of Seedlings, cooking demos, Zumba sessions for mothers, and monthly prenatal check-up.