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The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), in partnership with the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Philippine Information Agency and Office of the Representative of the Third District of Cagayan launched the Kasama sa Pamana: Pre-SONA Regional Series last 5 May 2021 at Penablanca. The event was held to share updates and insights on the policies, programs, and accomplishments of the current administration. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, also the current head of the Interagency Task Force on Zero Hunger, presented the accomplishments of the region related to ending hunger and highlighted the importance of nutrition.

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As temperature gets higher during the summer season, staying hydrated is very important. In the Pinggang Pinoy of Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), a glass of water is included in every meal to highlight the importance of drinking ample amount of water daily, especially during the summer heat. Afterall, our human body is composed of about 60% water depending on age and body composition. It is recommended to take in at least 1.5 – 2 liters or at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.

Water contains electrolytes – minerals that are needed by the body for normal bodily functions and has 0 calories. With these properties, water plays the following vital roles and functions in our body:

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In an emergency meeting of the Cagayan Valley Nutrition Action Officer Association, Cagayan Valley District/City/Municipal Nutrition Program Coordinators and Regional Nutrition Evaluation team held on 27 April 2021, the group agreed to reschedule the conduct of the Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implementation (MELLPI) Pro this year due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the region.

The rescheduling of the MELLPI Pro came after the associations raised concerns during the special meeting conducted earlier this month. The associations raised the following concerns: the nutrition office and its staff are being utilized as personnel in the isolation facilities and vaccination sites, most of the members of the Local Nutrition Committees (LNC) particularly the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) and Nutrition Action Officers (LNAOs) are pre-occupied with the COVID-19 response and the on going vaccination. Most LNAOs of the region are Provincial/City/Municipal Health Officers and nurses. Many LNC members are working from home (WFH) because of the increasing cases in their offices and many Nutrition Officers,  Nutritionist-Dietitians and Barangay Nutrition Scholars also got infected with or exposed to the COVID-19 virus and were either hospitalized, confined in isolation facility, or home-quarantined.

“In Isabela province most of our staff were quarantined and need to comply to the mandatory isolation protocols due to exposure and some had tested positive in COVID-19. The manpower of PNC is affected.” Shared by PNAO Henedina Cabrera during the emergency meeting.

RNET represented by NPC Maria Gisela M. Lonzaga understood the plea of LGUs and consider the proposed rescheduling of the MELLPI Pro this year.

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The National Nutrition Council (NNC) Region 02 plans to orient Nutrition Workers of Batanes province on 2021 eOPT+ tool and MELLPI Pro on 12 May 2021 via Google Meet. To have a unified recording and consolidation of data during emergencies, NNC with the assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations developed the 2021 eOPT Plus tool for Acute Malnutrition in addition to the regular tool.

“It’s very important to cover all nutrition workers and stakeholders to ensure timely and accurate data for planning to be able to deliver effective and efficient services amid COVID-19 and at the same time ensure that nutrition services will not be interrupted even during the pandemic.” shared by NPC Maria Gisela M. Lonzaga.

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In recognition and gratitude for the dedication of healthcare workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 is designated as the International Year of Health and Care Workers (IYHCW). This year-long campaign, with the theme, “Protect. Invest. Together”, emphasize on the “urgent need to invest in health workers for shared dividends in health, jobs, economic opportunity and equity”.

HCWs, including our Barangay Nutrition Scholars, Nutrition Action Officers, and Nutrition Officers, have been in the frontline since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They have been continuously providing health and nutrition services to people. HCWs are at higher risk of being infected with the coronavirus especially that they are exposed to the community daily. Today, number of people who are infected with the coronavirus is still increasing and thousands of frontliners are already infected.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) such as medical masks, face shields and body suits help them to become safe, however, these are not enough to ensure their health and protection. In order for HCWs to be fully protected with the coronavirus, they must ensure a healthy body and strong immune system.

To strengthen their body especially their immune system, one strategy for healthcare worker wellness is to have proper nutrition. Here are some nutrition tips for healthcare workers:

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Regional Bantay ASIN Task Force (RBATF) Region 02 recorded no shipment of inadequately iodized salt during the conducted virtual salt checkpoint monitoring on 23 April 2021 via Google Meet with Sta. Praxedes, Cagayan and Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya checkpoints.

Manning the checkpoint for 24/7 in Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya, Mr. Orlando Pichay, was very happy with no recorded entry of inadequately iodized salt reported in their area.

“We are very glad that our efforts in informing our shippers about the importance of iodized salt are effective. Our serious enforcement of the ASIN Law in the region gave a strong signal to the traders that we are serious with our duty even amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” as we ask how he felt with no violation report.

“This performance can also be attributed to the unending support of LGU Santa Fe, LGU of Sta Praxedes, regional offices of DA, BFAR, PNP,DENR and NNC Region 02 in provision of manpower, technical assistance and PPEs to our checkpoint officers on duty,” he added.