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Caraga breastfeeding forumThe Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos are recommendations to promote good health through proper nutrition. The goal of the 2012 NGF is the improvement of the nutritional status, productivity and quality of life of the population, through adoption of desirable dietary practices and healthy lifestyle.

As part of its Gender and Development (GAD) activity and in partnership with the National Nutrition Council-Caraga, the Philippine Port Authority conducted the NGF Forum and Breastfeeding Advocacy. During the opening remarks, Engr. Ronaldo C. Montero pointed out that most of the employees were very interested in learning about healthy food choices since they have a history of hypertension and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon was the guest speaker during the forum. She discussed on the history of the NGF, statistics on fruit and vegetable consumption in the Philippines, information on mortality and morbidity statistics and the 10 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos. After the lecture, Ms. Leah Vina P. Vargas led the open forum in which the PPA employees asked several questions. She also facilitated the raffle in which she asked several questions regarding the NGF.

After the forum was the consultative meeting with PPA officials and representatives of shipping services to explore partnership on maintenance of established breastfeeding area in the port terminal and in establishment of breastfeeding corner in passenger ships. The Nasipit Port Terminal already has a family room with breastfeeding area. Part of the discussion included possibility of NNC Caraga providing IEC materials such as breastfeeding posters, flyers and fans. It was also agreed that PPA and NNC will meet with owners and representatives of passenger ships Cokaliong Shipping Lines and 2Go Shipping on May 8, 2014 to coordinate for the campaign of NGF and breastfeeding promotion in passenger ship through posting of NGF posters and stickers and establishment of breastfeeding corner.

In the afternoon, the group went to Nasipit Port Terminal to check out the established breastfeeding area in the designated Family Room. The port terminal manager met with the group and joined in the inspection of the facility. There was a lactating mother breastfeeding her baby during the team’s visit. The group discussed on the improvements that could be made such as use of logbook for those mothers who enter the area, posting of BF posters and BF booklets and installation of NGF billboards in port terminals