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5On 3 May 2021, the National Nutrition Council – Region III, in partnership with the members of the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee, will hold the first of a series of webinars this year entitled “Addressing Hunger and Malnutrition in Central Luzon . . . Let us Start with Why?”

The webinar aims to provide the nutrition community and stakeholders in Central Luzon with current information on the nutrition situation in the region. It also aims to intensify and mobilize integrated action of regional line agencies, nongovernment agencies, local government units, academic institutions, business corporations and communities to implement appropriate mix of programs under the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition, 2017-2022.

Invited participants are members of the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee (CL RNC) composed of the regional directors and head of 26 regional government line agencies and three (3) nutrition federated groups and media partners; members of the Regional Nutrition Technical Working Group; Provincial, City and Municipal Nutrition Action Officers, District and City Nutrition Program Coordinators and Barangay Nutrition Scholars from the seven (7) provinces and 14 cities of Central Luzon. Members of the Central Luzon Advocates and Regional Nutrition Information Network (CLARINET) composed of practitioners from radio, TV and information officers from various government offices and non-government organizations.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, Chair of the Inter-agency Task Force on Zero Hunger and Enhanced Partnership against Hunger and Poverty and a staunch nutrition advocate and supporter will Keynote the event. Four (4) invited speakers will deliver very timely topics which aims to propel actions and engagement of various sectors and stakeholders in the region.

Topics lined up for discussion are: The State of Philippine Food and Nutrition Security Before and During Pandemic to be presented by Ms. Cristine G. Malabad, Senior Science Research Specialist of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology; 2. Survey on Nutrition Service Disruption and Adaptation in the Health System to be shared by Dr. Cecilia Acuin, Consultant from the UNICEF Philippines; 3. Landscape Analysis of Childhood Overweight and Obesity in the Philippines: Implications for Policies and Programs by Dr. Mary Christine Castro, Executive Director of the Nutrition Center of the Philippines; and 4. The Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project by Dir. Azucena M. Dayanghirang, Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council.

Webinar Series 1, with an appendage “Let us Start with Why”, aims to stir up actions on why we need to address hunger and malnutrition. The upcoming webinars in the coming months will cover topics on nutrition programs or interventions, good practices of individuals and LGUs along with the monitoring and evaluation for sustainability – which will answer the questions WHO, WHAT and HOW.

The webinar also aims to drum up focus of the 2021 Nutrition Month theme “Malnutrition patuloy na labanan, First 1,000 Days tutukan!” that calls for continued efforts to address malnutrition in the country which is expected to worsen as a result of the pandemic and limited resources for nutrition. The theme calls for all sectors to focus efforts on the First 1000 Days of life as the strategic intervention to prevent stunting and obesity. 

The webinar is first part of the two half-day sessions of the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee meeting which will be held on 3 May (Webinar) at 9:00 AM to 12:00 NN and 4 May (Meeting Proper) at 9:00 AM to 12:00 NN.

Part 2 of the CL RNC meeting (May 4) would be the presentation of NNC’s initiatives such as the series of Workshops in Integrating Nutrition in the Annual Investment Programs (AIP) of the LGUs for CY 2021-2022 and presentation of CL RNC resolutions for approval such as addressing overweight and obesity in the region, encouraging LCEs to designate full time NAOs, encouraging LGUs to participate in the AIP workshops and encouraging LGUs to participate in the Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implementation (MELLPI) this year.

Please join the webinar and learn the WHYs of the need to address hunger and malnutrition not just in Central Luzon but in the entire country. For more information, please visit our website https://www.nnc.gov.ph/regional-offices/luzon/region-iii-central-luzon.

The webinar can also be viewed live on facebook at https://facebook.com/NNCRegion3. – Ana Maria Barroga Rosaldo