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The National Nutrition Council Governing Board (NNC GB) approves two new policies in its very first meeting for the year 2021. Assistant Secretary Alex V. Avila of DOLE presides the meeting. Of the 3 agenda items discussed, two policies were approved: (1)  Guidelines on Dietary Supplementation in the First 1000 Days (GDS F1K) and (2) the Joint Memorandum Circular on the National Dietary Supplementation Program (JMC NDSP). These are both essential to achieve  the targets of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) for 2022, particular on stunting and wasting. The other agenda for information of the board is the designation/appointment of the Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) adviser in the Philippines.

The GDS F1K is a much-awaited policy both in the national and local setting. It gives direction on the implementation of dietary supplementation (DS) for the pregnant and lactating women, infants 6-11 months old, and young children 12- 23 months old. The JMC NDSP is a complementary policy instrument to strengthen implementation of DS and improve the convergence among agencies, local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders. The resolution on SUN designates Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles as the adviser in the Philippines. CabSec Nograles will facilitate the elevation of nutrition agenda in the country. He will help in advocating more resources for nutrition, particularly among those in the legislature and in the executive branch. This resolution was pre-approved by NNC GB Chair Secretary Duque and circulated to NNC GB on 3 February 2021 for their signature. As of this date, four out of the nine GB members have signed the resolution.

The two policies will be routed to NNC GB principals for their signature through Ad Referendum. The NNC Secretariat will make sure to disseminate a copy to all stakeholders once the document is completely signed. Every implementing agencies of DS is expected to strictly follow the guidelines once completely disseminated.

Strawberry F. Alberto