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Directors Bio 3471 2756

AZUCENA MILANA-DAYANGHIRANG, MD, MCH, CESO III
ASSISTANT SECRETARY and EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
NATIONAL NUTRITION COUNCIL

Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang is an experienced public health leader. For the past 29 years, she has been a facilitator and a trainer for various health programs particularly on Maternal Child Health and Nutrition. She has served the people of Davao as City Nutrition Action Officer from 1991-1995; Chief of the Technical Services Division and Medical Officer VI of Davao City Health Office from 1996 to 2005; as well as the Provincial Health Officer II and Provincial Nutrition Action Officer of Davao del Sur from 2008 to 2016.

During her stint in the local government, she led the City Nutrition Committee in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health and nutrition programs. She initiated the “Fresh Milk Supplemental Feeding Program,” which led to the reduction of protein-energy malnutrition among 0-6-year-old children. She also successfully lobbied for the regularization of 32 Nutritionist-Dietitians deployed in the 16 Districts of Davao City in 1996.

In 2016, she was elected as the National President of the Nutrition Action Officers' Association of the Philippines (NAOPA), Inc. Shortly after, she was appointed as Deputy Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), an attached agency of the Department of Health, Philippines. In August 2019, Dr. Dayanghirang was appointed as the Executive Director of the NNC. Currently, she is designated as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Philippines Government Focal Point and most recently, appointed as a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement representing Asia and Papua New Guinea.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the appointment of Dr. Dayanghirang to Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) Rank III effective 3 December 2020. Recently, she was upgraded to Executive Director IV with the rank of Assistant Secretary as approved by President Duterte through Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea on 21 July 2021.

0329 Vitamin Angels

In celebration of National Women’s Month, the Vitamin Angels hosted a live webinar to honor Filipino women and their contributions to health and development, with the aim of promoting a deeper understanding of the importance, gains, and challenges of gender equality and women empowerment.

Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Azucena M. Dayanghirang shared her insights on ensuring gender equality and women empowerment in the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN). She mentioned in her presentation that the NNC, as the country’s highest policy making body on nutrition, will harmonize its Gender and Development (GAD) guidelines with Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) for the integration of gender and development concerns in nutrition programs and policies within the context of the PPAN, the country’s framework for nutritional improvement.

Apart from the Idol Ko si Nanay Learning Sessions on proper feeding and caring behaviors, Asec. Dayanghirang also mentioned the significant role of fathers in effective infant and young child feeding, as well as their influence in motivating mothers to continue exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding. Thus, Idol Ko si Tatay also forms part of the nutrition-specific programs of PPAN on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), National Dietary Supplementation Program (NDSP), and Promotion Program for Behavior Change. Further, she asserted that parents who are better informed and empowered make better decisions for their children's health and nutrition.

Learn more about how a gender lens can be applied in health and nutrition programs. Watch the replay here: https://bit.ly/GEWEWebinar

 

On 28 March 2022, the appraisal team from the European Union-German Agency for International Cooperation (EU-GIZ) met with Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Azucena M. Dayanghirang, the SUN Philippines Focal Point, South East Asia Lead Focal Point and  SUN ExeCom Member, and the National Nutrition Council Secretariat management via teleconference to discuss their plan to support the implementation of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN)  3.0. to step up efforts in fighting hunger and malnutrition, as well as provide technical assistance to SUN countries like the Philippines.

The EU-GIZ seeks to increase their commitment to the successful operationalization of the SUN 3.0 plan through policy dialogue and capacity building for better nutrition outcomes, in addition to supporting the SUN Movement Secretariat (SMS). Technical assistance, inter-institutional coordination, training, and the transfer of know-how and expertise in nutrition-related issues will all be part of the intervention.

The appraisal mission's strong dedication and willingness to bring SUN 3.0 ahead is reflected in the presentation provided by the EU-GIZ appraisal team. In fact, the SUN Philippines is the first country approached by the EU-GIZ team, but they will also meet with other SUN countries in Asia to likewise assess these countries on the kind of technical assistance they would be requesting.

Asec and ED Dr. Dayanghirang was joined by Deputy Executive Director for Technical Service Rita Papey, NIED Chief Jovita Raval, OIC- NPPD Chief NPC Arlene Reario, and Nutrition Officer III Cynthia Vengco. 

 

Author: OED - Pam Pescador