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Ang kasabihan: ‘Kapag gusto may paraan, kung ayaw maraming dahilan”.

Muli na naman itong pinatunayan ng NNC-Region III Team at naging isang hamon na sa bandang huli ay naging isang matagumpay na gawain. Napag tagumpayan ng aming team ang pagsasagawa ng 7 batches ng online Provincial Consultative Meetings, na dinaluhan ng mga nutrition workers mula ika-26 ng Hunyo hanggang ika-9 ng Hulyo 2020.

Ang mga balakid o dahilan upang hindi makadalo ay ang kawalan ng laptop o computer; kakayahan ng nutrition worker sa paggamit ng makabagong information technology o di kaya naman ay kawalan ng signal o internet connection. Nakatutuwang isipin na bagama’t may ganitong sitwasyon, hindi pa rin nagbago ang suporta ng mga nutrition workers na aming nakasama, kahit na para sa ibang nutrition workers ito ay nagdulot din ng dagdag na gastos gamit ang “load data” ng kanilang cellphone upang makadalo sa pagpupulong.  Tuloy ang passion for nutrition, ika nga.

Ito ang isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit ang NNC-Region III ay naglunsad sa panahon ng selebrasyon ng Buwan ng Nutrisyon 2020 ng isang Provincial Consultative Meeting na tumutukoy sa pagsasakatuparan ng programang pangnutrisyon sa 7 lalawigan, 14 na siyudad at 116 na mga bayan sa rehiyon ng Gitnang Luzon.

finalIn line with the observance of the 46th Nutrition Month (NM) this year, the National Nutrition Council-Region III successfully held the Second Quarter Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee (CL-RNC) meeting on 30 June 2020. Combatting stunting was the main focus of the meeting, in line with the 2020 Nutrition Month theme “Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL . . . Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL! Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19”.

Ms. Marilou Enteria, Nutrition Officer IV of the Nutrition Information and Education Division of the National Nutrition Council Central Office was invited as a resource person who gave an in-dept discussion as to why preventing and combatting stunting was the focus of this year’s nutrition month theme. She also presented the 2020 Nutrition Month objectives and what are the campaign’s aims which is to:

  • raise awareness on the impact of stunting and evidence-based solutions among families and communities leading to change in behaviors to prevent stunting;
  • stimulate national for increased investments in interventions; and
  • generate concrete commitment and local (including communities) discourse on stunting to understand its causes and the multi-sectoral solutions among various stakeholders to scale-up nutrition actions.

rnc As the world continue to face the deadly pandemic, COVID-19, majority of people shifted online for their everyday interactions and transactions. This also applies for various industries which is making use of the convenience and easy accessibility of the internet to continue with their operations, thus, majority of companies and organizations, both private and government, shifting to work-from-home schemes for the time-being. With this shift to work-from-head, government agencies also started organizing meetings and webinars of sorts using the countless available platforms online like Zoom, Google Meets, Messenger, etc, as mass gatherings and face-to-face interaction are strictly prohibited. These applications were of huge help in organizing such virtual meetings as information exchange and dissemination is vital during this time. Work-from-home schemes, webinars, and virtual meetings filed our days instead of the usual day in the office, which has been dubbed as “the new normal.”

With this transition to using the internet as the main source of communication during this pandemic, the National Nutrition Council Region III also made it a point to organize events online. Starting with the staff familiarizing with the web-based applications to be used for virtual meetings, to holding virtual meetings with various nutrition-federated groups such as the Central Luzon Advocates and Regional Nutrition Information Network (CLARINET) and the Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC). Last 14 May 2020, NNC-Region III successfully convened the 1st Quarter Meeting of the Regional Nutrition Cluster (RNC) via Google Meets. The meeting was presided by the Chair of the committee, Regional Director Cesar C. Cassion, MD, MPH, CSEE, CESO IV  of the Department of Health-Central Luzon Center for Health Development (DOH-CL CHD). During the meeting, the NNC-Region III staff presented the following topics to the RNC members:

  • Pre-COVID 19 Nutrition Situation;
  • Gaps and Needs of Nutrition Supplies;
  • Regional Nutrition Cluster Initiatives and Response;
  • Good practices and challenges;
  • Executive Order No. 51 or Milk Code and its Revised IRR;
  • Actions requested from the RNC member agencies; and
  • Guidelines on the “Be Fit and Stronger Challenge.”

The 1st Quarter Meeting gave way for the RNC member agencies to share their accomplishments and their good practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), as a partner of the Department of Agriculture (DA), is continuously studying the consequences in terms of food security in the country. They also issued a memo regarding issuance of food passes; facilitated local transport of fish harvest; provided relief operation (specifically 91 frozen packs; 40 thousand sardines distributed to fisherfolk, frozen chicken, bacon and 900 kilos of rice to indigenous people (IPs) of Casiguran, Aurora); produced 2.9 million fingerlings and implemented the “Balik-Sigla Ilog” to fisherfolk; and continuous monitoring of prices and production of fish to make sure there is enough supply up to 90 days. BFAR also highlighted their accomplishment as the number one region in aquaculture in the country.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) shared to the committee that before the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was implemented in  various parts of Luzon, they were able to establish a Health and Wellness Committee, which includes a physical activity program for the employees every week. The CSC also mentioned that their staff were given one week leave with pay to make way for their annual physical examination, with the staff receiving Php2,500.00 welfare fund each, as well as continuous monitoring of employees with non-communicable diseases.

clearedNot only are boys aged 8 and 9 quite a handful to handle sometimes, but they are also very picky eaters. When it comes to making them eat nutritious food, (although they would always eat what's on the table after some whining and complaining), it sometimes becomes a challenge to moms like me.

My two boys each have his own preference when it comes to food. My son Marco loves eating processed foods like hotdogs, spam, chicken nuggets, and the like. Lance, on the other hand, loves eating soup dishes and leafy vegetables (so he's not really so much of my problem). While it is a joy to see your kids enjoy eating the food they prefer, it is a must to ensure that what they consume is good and advantageous for their health.

This is why, when we compare their weight and body structure, Lance is even heavier than his Kuya! Marco is thinner and easily gets sick most of the time. Looking at him with his former classmates, Marco is smaller in terms of both height and weight. It can be assumed (although we really have to see his pediatrician) that Marco may be suffering from stunting.

According to the World Health Organization, stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. Children are defined as stunted if their height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median." 

July of every year marks the celebration of the National Nutrition Month. This 2020 is the 46th year of the National Nutrition Month and the theme is "Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL . . . Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL! Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19. This expresses the aspiration of every Filipino family to have children who are able to achieve their fullest potential and this can be achieved when we all work together.

In the same manner, as the whole world grapples with COVID-19, the sub-theme "Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19" is added, considering the pandemic and the community quarantine still in effect. It emphasizes more the importance of ensuring nutrition among Filipinos to improve resilience against disease and minimize the long-term effects of malnutrition.

articleExercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart. – Gene Tunney

The Central Luzon (CL) Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC) led by its Chair, DOH CL CHD Regional Director Cesar C. Cassion approved the implementation of the “Be Fit and Stronger” Challenge contest. The approval was made during the First CL Regional Nutrition Cluster meeting through google meet on 14 May 2020.

The contest is a revival of the biggest loser challenge in 2010, spearheaded by the DOH CL CHD, now dubbed as “Be Fit and Stronger” Challenge, proposed by RD Cassion and RD William Beltran of the Philippine Information Agency-Regional Office III during the Third Quarter Meeting of the CL RCN on 20 November 2019. 

The contest aims to reduce the prevalence of overnutrition among government employees in the region which will run for six months, from 1 September 2020 to 22 February 2021.

The terms “be fit and stronger” were highlighted as the “project title” to emphasize that a person engaged in physical activity should not only be concerned in having a “trimmed” body but should also have endurance and strength when exposed to strenuous activity. 

NNC Webinar Poster 11

Last 5 June 2020, the National Nutrition Council Region III successfully organized and conducted its first ever webinar entitled “Webinar on Crafting A Nutrition Policy”.

The NNC invited three (3) speakers from various agencies such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), from the Office of Bayan Muna Representative Eufemia Cullamat and Nutrition Policy and Planning Division of the NNC-Central Office, to discuss topics related to policy-making in line with the agency’s objective of fulfilling its mandate as the country’s policy making and coordinating body on nutrition.

The webinar also aimed to 1) provide the members of the nutrition federated groups and Regional Technical Working Group (RTWG) appreciation on the processes involved on how policies and laws are formulated at the national and geo-administrative levels; 2) assist the members of the nutrition federated group in the crafting of nutrition policies and laws at the provincial, city, municipal, and barangay levels; 3) provide the members of the nutrition federated groups and the RTWG members knowledge on the processes involved in the policy review; and 4) address gaps that the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET) identified during the monitoring and evaluation visits.

Nutrition workers from different LGUs were present for the webinar such as the Provincial/City/Municipal Nutrition Action Officers, Barangay Nutrition Scholars, representatives of the RNC member agencies like the Civil Service Commission, Commission on Human Rights, Department of Health-Central Luzon Center for Health and Development, DILG, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry. A former staff from the NNC-Region I who is now working at the LGU requested to join the webinar. Also the three (3) Nutritionist-Dietitians from Aurora Province, under the HRH Program of the DOH were able to participate in the activity.

“IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, GENERALLY, POLICY FORMULATION STARTS WITH THE PLANNING PROCESS.”-ATTY. PAULINO.

Attorney Charmaine Jacqueline Paulino, Attorney IV of the DILG-Regional Office III, was the first speaker with the topic “How policies and laws are crafted at the local levels,” where she first discussed and defined the term “policy” and the stages of policy process. Atty. Paulino emphasized that with the aid of various plans, LGUs are expected to more effectively manage their own local development and be more autonomous.