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Proposed Nutrition Commission to boost fight against malnutrition – NNC

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna (PIA) – The National Nutrition Council (NNC) has supported the enactment of laws that would bolster the government’s efforts in addressing malnutrition.

House Bill 7700 or the National Nutrition Commission Act of 2023 and HB 7586 or the Nutrition Act of 2023, have been filed both seeking to strengthen the country’s nutrition programs.

HB 7700 seeks to institutionalize putting up nutrition offices in every province, city, municipality and barangays of the country and shall have a permanent nutrition action officer, which would further advance the national government’s nutrition advocacies.

The proposed bill was filed in March by Cavite Second District Rep. Lani Mercado Revilla and her sons Agimat Partylist Rep. Bryan Revilla and Cavite First District Rep. Ramon Jolo Revilla III.

Meanwhile, HB 7586, filed by Agri party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee, mandates the creation of a Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition or a ten-year multi-sectoral and integrated national nutrition plan of action to end malnutrition and undernutrition after 10 years of implementation.

“The strengthening of the National Nutrition Council has been in existence for the last 49 years already. The law on creation of the National Nutrition Council was passed in 1974 and we will be turning 50 years old next year. Sana man lang, sa 50 years of existence of National Nutrition Council ay magkaroon ng kakaibang imahe o istraktura at ito ang pagiging isang National Nutrition Commission,” NNC Executive Director and Assistant Secretary Azucena Dayanghirang said.

Both proposed measures push NNC to be formally called as the National Nutrition Commission, which will consist of one chairperson, two commissioners, and an advisory board composed by different national government agencies.

As it awaits for Congress’ action on the bill, the NNC continues its mandate to deliver nutrition programs in different parts of the country through its regional offices and their counterparts in the local government.

During the 2023 Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony (RNAC) on August 1, Asec. Dayanghirang cited the efforts of ‘nutrition champions’ in fighting hunger and malnutrition in the region.

“The region of CALABARZON became one of the standards in excellent nutrition program management for the other LGUs as it has continuously produced and molded civil champions such as nutrition focal points and LGUs delivering quality and sustainable nutrition interventions,” Dayanghirang said.

Dayanghirang also lauded the efforts of the Local Nutrition Focal Points (LNFPs) and LGUs that invested in and prioritized the implementation of nutrition programs which creates positive change in the communities’ nutritional well-being.

“I am truly grateful to witness the fruitful efforts and achievements of our outstanding local nutrition focal points and LGUs in promoting good nutrition to all your respective communities,” she added.

She also highlighted NNC’s partner agencies, particularly the Regional Sub Committee on Nutrition (RSCN) and Nutrition Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET), Communication Network for Nutrition (CNN4A), for their contribution in helping carrying out and promoting the council’s programs in eradicating malnutrition in the region.

Declared winner in this year’s RNAC was the City of Tayabas, Quezon, which received the Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner (CROWN) award and is set to be awarded in the National Nutrition Awarding Ceremony in Manila in November.

The CROWN Award is given to municipalities, cities, and/or provinces that excelled in nutrition program management and are bestowed the Green Banner Award in their respective regions for three consecutive years. 

Tayabas’ best nutritional practices include the institutionalization of the First 1000 Days of Life Program which ensures that all of the pregnant mothers were assisted from the check-up procedures, laboratory tests, distribution of vitamins and supplements, assistance in breastfeeding; supplementary feeding programs for different age groups, lactation hubs in each establishments, Gulayan sa Barangay, accredited adolescent centers, food fortification, among others. (Tayabas City LGU)

Recognition were also given to the LGUs of Bacoor and Dasmariñas in Cavite, Calaca City, Batangas, Sariaya and Pagbilao, Quezon as Green Banner Seal of Compliance Awardees for continuously delivering effective and efficient nutrition programs.

The annual RNAC is the result of the Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan (MELLPI) Pro which aims to assess the effectiveness of local governments in the planning and implementation of nutrition programs from the national down to the local level conducted by members of the RNET. 

Since 1978, the NNC has been conferring awards, inclusive of trophies and cash prizes, to LGUs and BNSs to applaud their exemplary performance in implementing programs and improving the nutritional status of the people in their communities, particularly infants, children, and mothers. (CCM,CH/PIA-4A)

About the Author

Christopher Hedreyda

Region 4A

Provincial Information Center Manager, PIA Laguna

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