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By Benjamin S. De Yro

A dropped needle can be heard as a deafening silence enveloped the room.  Each of those inside the room was holding a two-page script and glued their eyes on it. Then, a voice shouted, ‘Take 3!’.

The last voice said “ this message is brought to you by the National Nutrition Council-DOH, Balay Ni Ifan Media Group and this station’. Welcome to another taping session of the media for the First 1000 Days advocacy.

Yes, the voices for the nutrition plugs came in Pilipino, Ibanag and Ilocano which, earlier, flooded the airlanes in Cagayan Valley.

The ‘voices’ were boomed from members of the Balay Ni Ifan Media Group established by NNC region 2 as early as 2010. Majority of these talents have been used  for commerial and government plugs but to dramatize a script is another challenge.

“We at NNC strongly believe in the effectiveness of radio as a medium to as it is a perfect vehicle to enhance further our nutrition advocacies,” Meggie Lonzaga, regional nutrition coordinator said.

So how was it done? The format of the plugs are usually drama and the original Pilipino script  from NNC central office is then translated into various languages prevalent in a locality.

Thus, for Cagayan, the plugs come in Ibanag and Ilocano, aside from  the usual Pilipino. In region 2, the conference room cum studio  of the Philippine Information Agency has been used for free recording sessions.

ECCD TWGTUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan -- National Nutrition Council Region 02 convened Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC) members in a special RNC meeting for the creation of the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) in the First 1000 Days Technical Working Group on July 22, 2021, via Zoom Meeting.

Ms. Maria Gisela Lonzaga, Nutrition Program Coordinator, welcomed the RNC members and informed the body that a ECCD technical working group will be organized to monitor the programs, projects and activities in the First 1000 Days being implemented in the region. Also, she said that Tutok Kainan Dietary Supplementation Program for pregnant women in provinces of Isabela and Cagayan already started.

The goal of the ECCD in the First 1000 Days (ECCD-F1K) is to ensure the full development of the child. Specifically, it aims to reduce mortality rates among children 0-23 months old, prevalence of stunting and wasting among children 0-23 months old, increase the percentage of children 0-23 months old meeting developmental milestones, coverage of key services and the percentage of those practicing desirable behavior such as exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding. The target beneficiaries include pregnant women, infants 0-11 months and children 12-23 months old, conditional cash transfer program beneficiaries, and others.

2nd q RNAOs DCMNPCs

The Cagayan Valley Regional Nutrition Action Officers (RNAOs) and District/City/Municipal Nutrition Program Coordinators (D/C/MNPCs) held their 2nd Quarter Joint Meeting, s. 2021 last 25 June 2021 and discussed the following: 1. Results of Nutrition Service Continuity Survey in Region 2; 2. Updates on MELLPI Pro 2021; 3. 2021 Nutrition Month; and 4. Other matters via Zoom Meeting.

               Ms. Maria Gisela M. Lonzaga, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator welcomed the participants and gave an overview on the meeting and the agenda that will be discussed. Nutrition Officer III Edzell M. Arcinue presented the Results of Nutrition Service Continuity Survey in Region 2 and shared that most of the nutrition services in the region are being implemented before and during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Lonzaga appealed the group to continue the delivery nutrition services in the community most especially the interventions on the First 1000 Days and ensure food security to prevent worsening of nutrition situation and prevent hunger in the region amid the Covid 19 pandemic.

nm launch

The National Nutrition Council Region 02 launched the 2021 Regional Nutrition Month Celebration via a virtual kick-off show and webinar last 2 July 2021. It was attended by the nutrition stakeholders in the region including the members of the Regional Nutrition Committees, local nutrition committees, media, local nutrition focal persons, advocates and supporters. The launching was also streamed live in the Facebook Page of NNC Region 02.

This year, the 2021 Nutrition Month Theme is “Malnutrisyon Patuloy na Labanan, First 1000 Days Tutukan!” and calls for the convergence of nutrition and nutrition-related programs, projects, and activities both at the national and local government, and for a multisectoral participation and commitment from different nutrition stakeholders to come up with a strategic and synergistic intervention to prevent stunting and obesity.

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CITY OF ILAGAN, ISABELA----- “It is with high hope and positive thoughts that the Food and Drug Administration will work hand in hand with RBATF R02 in the strengthened implementation of RA8172 in the region,” says Director Gomel C. Gabuna, Director II FDA North Luzon Cluster during the 2nd Quarter Regional Bantay Asin Task Force meeting last 25 June 2021.

FDA has been a long time partner and ally of RBATF R02 in the implementation of RA8172 especially during the early times of the law. The FDA partnered with NNC, DOH and other regional line agencies in conducting monitoring visit to salt manufacturer in nearby regions to ensure the quality of salt sold and distributed to region 02.

However, due to reorganization and lack of manpower from the FDA, the partnership slowly declined and FDA missed some meetings and monitoring visits to ensure the regulatory part of the law. In addition, COVID-19 restrictions aided as a challenge to FDA and RBATF R02 members to strictly implement the regulatory part of RA 8172.

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN----- Armed with commitment to evaluate nutrition workers and observing minimum health standards and protocol, Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET) R02 kicked-off the Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implementation Protocol (MELLPI-PRO) in Province of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya on 14-16 July 2021.

Annually, the Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implementation or MELLPI is conducted by an interagency nutrition evaluation team from the national to provincial/ city/municipal levels to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of local nutrition program management and implementation.

In 2019, the National and Regional Evaluation Team launched the use of the enhanced version of MELLPI called MELLPI Pro.  The MELLPI Pro is used to monitor and evaluate performance of local government units at all levels and  local nutrition focal points like the Barangay Nutrition Scholars, Nutrition Action Officers and District/City /Municipal Nutrition Program Coordinator.

In Region II, all the provinces and cities  are already recipients of Nutrition Honor Award (NHA), the highest nutrition award and there are no entries for search for the Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition. Hence,  RNET R02 focused their evaluation to local nutrition focal points.