Great News for the Barangay Nutrition Scholars in the Province of Agusan del Norte.The 16thSanggunianPanlalawigan of the Province of Agusan del Norte through the Committee on Social Welfare and Population Development, authored by Honorable Elizabeth Marie R. Calo with Co-Authors Honorable Joseph E. Tomaneng and Rodulfo A. Pitogohad already been approvedThe Sanggunian Resolution No. 117-2014: Resolution Urging the Provincial Social Welfare, Population and Nutrition Services Office to Design a Program for the Granting of Financial Incentives to Deserving Barangay Nutrition Scholars in the Province with Outstanding Performanceand to be implemented for the year 2015.

The Resolution was made after several sessions from March, May and June 2014 conducted by Honorable Elizabeth Marie R. Calo Chairperson on Committee on Social Welfare and Population Developmentthe Office of the SanggunianPanlalawigan together with Ms. Eden A. Amper from Provincial Social Welfare, Population and Nutrition Services Office, Ms.Armi C. Escatron from Provincial Health Office, Ms. Leah L. Tan, Provincial Planning Development Office, Mr. Esteban M. Dagani Provincial Budget Office, Mr. Johnny Y. Oreno, Provincial DILG and Ms. Rowena Cassion Gomez of DOH- National Nutrition Council Caraga Regional Office. Thesaid office had received Resolution No.283-2013 dated last September 5, 2013 from theSanggunianPanlalawigan of La Union to cause allocation funds to cover the monthly allowances of all Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) of La Union and possible introduction of a House Bill that increases the allowance/stipened of BNS. During the initial evaluation of said resolution the committee was thinking of recommending no legislative action to the said measure because it has nothing to do with the province of Agusan del Norte.

However, as the committee gleaned the resolutory clause of the Provincial Council of La Union, it intends to seek support and encourage all SanggunianPanlalawigan in the country to pass related measure and urge their respective Congressmen to sponsor a bill to increase the financial incentives of all Barangay Nutrition Scholars in the country.

Ms. Rowena Cassion-Gomez from National Nutrition Council Caraga, raised her concerns on the BNSs in the region. Under the law, it is prerogative of the Punong Barangay to appoint or replace any barangay officials including the BNS. The Punong Barangay should consider that the incumbent BNS are provided several trainings either by the national or local government agencies. They had already gained enough knowledge and skills they need to perform their duties and functions. Our government has already spent their capability enhancement and yet newly elected Punong Barangays can easily replace them due to the fact that they are co-terminus.

One good example of this case was the former BNS in Barangay Binuangan, Municipality of Tubay in the name of Hilda Guibao who brought pride and honor to the province because she garnered the title Regional Outstanding BNS in 2013, because of the new set of Barangay Officials, the Punong Barangay did not reappoint her but instead replaced her with a new BNS of his choice.

Ms. Eden Amper, District Nutrition Program Coordinator of Agusandelnorte asked the body if the province can increase its counterpart for the honorarium from P300 to P500. According to her, the province allocates only P300 per month, P150-P1,000 from the barangay, and P275-P700 from the municipality.

After thorough discussion and to respond to the said issues, the committee recommended enacting a provincial ordinance that will increase the provincial counterpart for the honorarium of the BNS province-wide and so theThe Sanggunian Resolution No. 117-2014 was made.

Great News Indeed!