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Be non-partisan, nutrition council top exec tells BNS

DAVAO  DEL NORTE (PIA) -- “Be non-partisan,” Assistant Secretary and Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang told barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) during the opening rites of the 2023 Regional BNS Conference on August 24 held at the Davao del Norte Gymnasium.

Addressing some 1,500 BNS participants and guests, Dayanghirang assured BNS of her continuous effort towards creating a permanent position of BNS whom she cited  as a “crucial” factor in sustaining the nutrition program initiatives at the grassroots levels. 

“You  play  a critical role,” she said. “Dapat dili matanggal ang mga BNS (BNS should not be replaced) after elections,” she added while citing a  recent Congressional Committee Meeting on Nutrition during which she was asked to recommend amendments to Presidential Decree 1569, known as “Strengthening the Barangay Nutrition Program by Providing for a Barangay Nutrition Scholar in Every Barangay, Providing Funds therefor, and for other purposes."

“I told the committee meeting that our BNS, 46,000 of  them nationwide, have been our partners in reducing malnutrition,” she said.

“It is really a big problem that every barangay elections, they are replaced,” Dr. Dayanghirang added.

She revealed political affiliation as the most common cited reason of replacing the BNS after barangay  elections. 

“Malapit na ang barangay election (The barangay election is fast-approaching). Palihug lang dili mo magpa-identify  nga magsuot ug t-shirt sa (Please don’t be identified by wearing a t-shirt of a candidate)  (kandidatong) barangay captain,” she appealed to BNS asking them to assure her of their conscientiousness against partisanship.  

“Ayaw mo pagsuot (Don’t wear it); you are considered as non-partisan,” Dayanghirang emphasized.

She reminded BNS to always  be ready to serve and to work for  the nutrition welfare of people in their areas of assignment.

After the two-day BNS Conference, Dayanghiran expected the BNS to buckle down to work again, focusing on  the nutritional needs of pregnant women.

“Sila ang atong tutukan (We  have to focus on them),” she said.

Meanwhile,  Dayanghirang shared information regarding her effort to push for sponsorship of a bill in the House of Representatives for the creation of the Commission on National Nutrition.

Presidential Decree No. 491 or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines issued June 1974 created the National Nutrition Council (NNC) as the highest policy-making and coordinating body on nutrition.

She deemed the nutrition commission as necessary to beef up the regional plantilla positions, and to infuse additional funds for the expanding operations on nutrition at the grassroots levels.  (JBG/JMDA/PIA Davao del Norte)

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Jeanevive Abangan

Deputy Regional Head

Region 11

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