Assistant Secretary and NNC Executive Director Azucena M. Dayanghirang, MD, MCH, CESO III delivered the Philippines’ intervention statement during the 49th Session of the Committee on World Food Security’s (CFS49’s) Forum on the Uptake of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition (VGFSyN) on 12 October 2021. VGFSyN aim to support the development of coordinated, multi-sectoral national policies, laws, programs and investment plans to enable safe, healthy and nutritious diets through sustainable food systems, to operationalize the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) Framework for Action in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The forum provided an opportunity to discuss and mobilize political commitments from governments, donors, civil society, private sector, and the UN system for the implementation of the VGFSyN.
In her intervention statement, ASec. Dayanghirang stated that the Philippines will sustain its commitment to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition through the implementation of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022 and beyond as part of the Philippines' Food Systems Transformation Pathway. As the country’s framework of action for nutrition improvement, the current PPAN complements nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs and demonstrates the link to the VGFSyN as it recognizes food insecurity as one of the underlying causes of malnutrition. She added that the successor PPAN will focus on strengthening the nutrition program of the local government units under the ambit of the food system.
Furthermore, Asec. Dayanghirang committed that the country will take off from the gains of the policies that support the PPAN, such as the National Food Policy (NFP) and the First 1000 Days (F1K) Law, adding that the Philippines will continue to assist the formulation of local nutrition action plans (LNAPs), following a results-oriented approach guided by the nurturing care framework to address the multi-dimensional causes of malnutrition.
She added that alliances and partnerships will be utilized in the promotion of the uptake of VGFSyN through the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. The Philippines have already organized the SUN networks at the national, and partly sub-national level, and will endeavor to be fully organized in all sub-national levels to avoid fragmented actions among multi-stakeholders and ensure collective effort to fight malnutrition on a context-specific measure on the ground.
She also shared that the country will develop the National Nutrition Information System (NNIS) which shall harmonize all existing national and local nutrition databases to identify individual, groups, and localities with the highest magnitude of hunger and malnutrition. The NNIS can serve as a platform to promote uptake of the VGFSyN by providing available, updated, and accessible data on food systems and nutrition, especially on food consumption that can aid in making predictive decisions and fostering data-supported innovation in nutrition.
Asec. Dayanghirang closed the Philippines’ intervention statement by expressing her confidence that this policy tool considers the food systems in its totality and looks at the multi-dimensional causes of malnutrition.
The CFS 49 is be held virtually from 11 to 14 October 2021.
You may read and download the VGFSyN here: https://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/cfs/Docs2021/Documents/CFS_VGs_Food_Systems_and_Nutrition_Strategy_EN.pdf
Written by: Nina Fritzie P. Bruce