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.


To free more Filipinos from hunger and achieve food security, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger has drafted the National Food Policy (NFP) that will outline the government's priorities and map efforts to achieve zero hunger. Initiatives for reducing hunger, ensuring food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture were identified under the National Food Policy. The Zero Hunger Task Force, led by the Cabinet Secretary, has identified six key results areas (KRAs)—each with its own working group, stratified priorities, and experts to ensure that each is on track to be fulfilled by 2030.

The KRA 3, which is to secure nutrition adequacy, has its own Technical Working Group composed of the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and National Nutrition Council (NNC) as the lead convenor. Their latest KRA 3 TWG Meeting was held via an online platform on 5 May 2022, which was presided over by Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang. These agencies presented their agency’s program accomplishments, challenges encountered, and recommendations. NNC, as the lead of KRA3, will compile the accomplishments of the KRA and endorse it to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.

ASec. Dayanghirang shared the accomplishments of Tutok Kainan Supplementation, the NNC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also operationalizes RA 11148, or the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act. She emphasized Tutok Kainan's goal of improving the quality and quantity of food and nutrient intakes, as well as utilization of related Early Childcare and Development – First 1000 Days services among nutritionally at-risk pregnant women and children 6–23 months old in the Tutok Kainan program areas, to help prevent stunting among children aged 0-23 months.

Furthermore, ASec. Dayanghirang proudly shares that one of the NNC's commitments for the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) is to consider partnering with community-based groups for food commodities through the use of Negotiated Procurement—Community Participation. NNC has also inked 37 marketing agreements with Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations, or ARBOs, which provide hot meal ingredients such vegetables, root crops, pork, and fish. Finally, NNC supports DOST-FNRI's technologies by purchasing commodities developed by the institute, such as nutribun, rice mongo mix, rice mongo sesame, and mingo, from FNRI technology adopters.

Asec. Dayanghirang was joined by OIC-NPPD Ms. Arlene Reario and Nutrition Officer Bea Pimentel.


Author: OED - Pam Pescador