Directors Bio 3471 2756


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.


Twenty-twenty-two (2022), the year of implementation of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022 or PPAN, the country’s blueprint of integrated programs to address the persistent problem of malnutrition among Filipinos. Has PPAN been able to meet its goal of achieving and maintaining the nutritional well-being of Filipinos?

In the last 30 years, stunting and wasting, the two primary indicators of malnutrition, have remained practically unchanged. Millions of Filipino children who survive childhood malnutrition will endure the consequences of poor school performance and low productivity as adults unless immediate action is taken. Investing in high-impact nutrition initiatives is essential for a healthier population and stronger economy.

On 28 April 2022, the Philippine Association of Nutrition (PAN) and the Philippine Center for Population Development hosted a webinar on the state of nutrition in the country in which Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang presented the challenges in Nutrition Governance. She stressed that the massive amount of work required to complete nutrition-related tasks requires a well-coordinated multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach with strong top-level governance that is replicated down to local government units. As a step forward, she emphasized that the National Nutrition Council renewed its commitment to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in all forms by joining the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Network, ensuring that Filipinos have access to good food and nutrition.

Author: OED - Pam Pescador