[Joint Press Release for Virtual Dialogue with Punong Barangays: Enabling Nutrition Devolution]
Manila, 4 October 2021. Recognizing the inadequate appreciation of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022 as the framework for addressing problems in nutrition at the barangay level, and the opportunities to scale up investment in nutrition brought by the implementation of the Supreme Court Ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia petitions and Executive Order 138, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas (LBP), spearheaded the conduct of a Virtual Dialogue with Punong Barangays: Enabling Nutrition Devolution.
“We recognize the important role of barangays in the delivery of nutrition related programs and services to help address malnutrition and other health problems in the community,” says Secretary Eduardo Año of DILG, who was ably represented by Undersecretary Martin Diño. The DILG sits as the Vice-Chair of the NNC Governing Board.
The Formative Evaluation of the PPAN 2017-2022 commissioned by NEDA in 2019 revealed that the formulation of Barangay Nutrition Action Plans (BNAPs) varies. The nutrition volunteers, called Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs), often prepare said BNAPs and submit the same to the Barangay Nutrition Committees (BNCs) for approval with no information on the budget allocation despite the various guidelines issued by the DILG, DBM, and NNC to guide planning and budgeting. Also, a familiar clamor among the Barangay Nutrition Scholars is the poor appreciation of Punong Barangays and members of the nutrition committee of their roles and functions and the importance of investing and scaling up nutrition in their governance system.
In his message, Cabinet Secretary Atty. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles emphasized that “with the implementation of EO 138 or the SC Ruling on Mandanas-Garcia Petitions, it is my fervent hope that our Local Chief Executives, particularly our Punong Barangays and the sangguniang kabataan chairpersons would integrate, strengthen, and sustain our nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs in their local policies and plans.” CabSec Nograles is the current Chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger and Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Adviser for the Philippines.
The dialogue was designed to increase appreciation of the PPAN and its impact to BNAP, engage Punong Barangay, BNS, and other committee members to implement programs to achieve BNAP and PPAN targets, and identify and share good practices of high-performing barangay nutrition committees (BNCs) on managing nutrition programs. The dialogue presented opportunities to scale-up nutrition programs in view of increased resources brought by the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling in 2022. The event is a sequel to the “Dialogue with Local Chief Executives (LCEs): Enabling Nutrition Devolution” held on 30 July 2021.
A total of 7,400 Punong Barangays, Barangay Nutrition Scholars, members of the Barangay Nutrition Committees; and Sangguniang Kabataan Chairpersons and members of the NNC Governing Board and Technical Committee participated in this said dialogue.
In her presentation on the PPAN and Barangay Nutrition Action Plan, NNC’s Assistant Secretary and NNC Executive Director Azucena M. Dayanghirang called for scaling up implementation of BNAP programs. On the other hand, Director John Aries S. Macaspac of the Local Government and Regional Coordination Bureau of DBM stressed out the need for LGUs to prioritize in the allocation of local funds the PPAs included in their respective local nutrition action plans in his presentation on “Bigger Budgets, More Investments for Nutrition: Devolution of Nutrition Services in Light of the Mandanas Ruling in 2022”.
A panel discussion on “Navigating Nutrition Programs in the Barangay” was participated by representatives from the National Youth Commission, select Punong Barangays, National Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar awardees, and Barangay Nutrition Action Officers or BNAO. To push forward the agenda for nutrition, the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, Philippine Councilors League, LuzViMin BNS Federation, NAOPA and NYC committed to support nutrition advocacies.
In her closing message, Director Anna Liza F. Bonagua of the Bureau of Local Government Development of DILG enjoined Punong Barangays and other nutrition stakeholders to prioritize nutrition and galvanize their commitments to the PPAN.
NNC: Ces Sta. Ana 09081743659
Kareena Ynez A. Abungin 09153184321
DILG: Gemma Macatangay 09062361008
OCS: Genelyn J. Gabriel 09175025289