- Category: Region 3
By: Marie Joy S. Carbungco, Information Officer III - Philippine Information Agency Regonal Office III
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (PIA) -- The National Nutrition Council (NNC) cited outstanding nutrition committees and workers in Central Luzon through its 2021 Gawad Parangal sa Nutrisyon at Panapos na Pagdiriwang para sa Buwan ng Nutrisyon.
In her welcome message delivered by Regional Technical Working Group Chair Margarita Natividad, Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC) 3 Chair and Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Corazon Flores urged the awardees to really push through the implementation of nutrition programs in order to produce a healthy and bright generation in the future.
She also cited the report of World Health Organization (WHO) which states that nutrition is critical part of health and development as better nutrition is related to improved infant, child, and maternal health; stronger immune system; safer pregnancy and childbirth; lower risk of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and other cardiovascular diseases; and longevity.
“People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities that will gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger. As such, as guided by our goals from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this cannot overly emphasize the goals of nutrition in health and development,” Flores said.
She also challenged the awardees to envision a future that is more nutrition-responsive, more adaptable, pandemic-resilient, and inclusive through implementing programs where more than numbers, clients are the center of service delivery.
For her part, Assistant Secretary and National Nutrition Council (NNC) Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang lauded the awardees for their great contribution to the sustained implementation of their respective nutrition programs.
“I challenge the region to beef up more its efforts in nutrition program implementation especially in these trying times…We want more high performing local government units. Rest assured that NNC will continue to provide direction and technical assistance to further contribute to reducing hunger and malnutrition. I also hope that LGUs will integrate nutrition in their annual investment plans,” she said.
- Category: Region 3
Finally, the Central Luzon 2021 Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony and Culminating Nutrition Month Activity (Gitnang Luzon 2021 Gawad Parangal sa Nutrisyon at Panapos na Pagdiriwang para sa Buwan ng Nutrisyon) will be held on 21 December 2021 at 9:00 A.M. at the Hacienda Gracia Hotel and Resort, Sta. Maria, Lubao, Pampanga.
The Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony (RNAC) is an institutionalized activity of the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee which is held annually. The revitalization of the annual RNAC this year only proves that COVID-19 pandemic is not a hindrance to celebrate success and to recognize deserving LGUs, individuals, partners and stakeholders who unceasingly perform their functions and contributed to ending hunger and malnutrition in the region.
The RNAC aims to: 1) give due recognition on the importance of local actions in improving the nutrition situation in Central Luzon; 2) pay tribute to Local Government Units (LGUs), non- government organizations and individuals with outstanding performance in nutrition program management; 3) renew commitment of the local nutrition networks towards the common goal of achieving nutritional adequacy for all; and 4) encourage communities, local governments, non-government organizations, private sector, media, the academe, policy makers and other stakeholders to put in place an enabling environment that promotes improved nutrition situation in the region.
This year’s RNAC will be held via hybrid (online and onsite) platform with 250 participants and guests expected to grace the event. A total of 50 guests and delegates headed by the respective Local Chief Executives as chairpersons of the provincial, city, municipal and barangay nutrition committees together with the Provincial/City/Municipal Nutrition Action Officers (P/C/MNAOs), and selected members of the CL RNC are expected to be physically present in the venue to receive their awards while the 200 participants will be joining the NNC-Region III Team in the virtual platform via zoom app teleconference.
The top 2019 winners in nutrition are: Bulacan Province (Top Performing Province in the Region); Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) – Second Maintenance Awardees: Mabalacat City and Municipality of Talavera, Nueva Ecija; Green Banner Seal of Compliance (GBSC) for Bulacan Municipalities: Guiguinto, Marilao, Baliwag and City of Malolos; GBSC also for Nueva Ecija: Municipality of Quezon and San Jose City.
The CROWN Award is received by municipalities, cities, and/or provinces that excelled in nutrition program management and are bestowed the Green Banner Award in their respective regions for three consecutive years. The Green Banner Seal of Compliance Award, on the other hand is the highest citation given to local government units based on set of criteria defined in the new Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implement protocol.
Annually, the RNMET choose among the more than 3,000 BNSs deployed in 3,102 barangays in Central Luzon the Regional Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar (ROBNS) using NNC’s assessment protocol.
- Category: Region 3
How breastfeeding in the workplace is not just good for the mother and the baby, but for our society as a whole.
The idea of breastfeeding in the workplace may seem very complicated and intimidating but with the proper knowledge and support from the family and society, in general, can be easily achieved. Mothers can both provide for their family and take care of their babies at the same time without compromising the other.
The economics and health benefits of breastfeeding has long been established and supported by numerous studies and research. It is a well-known fact that breastmilk is not only nutritious and provides energy for the baby but also contains cells, hormones, and antibodies that help protect babies from illnesses. Aside from these benefits that the baby receives from breastmilk, the breastfeeding mother also helps a mother’s health in a way that it prevents diseases like type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers.
Breastfeeding also provides positive emotional effects to both the mother and child as it encourages bonding between the mother and child.
And it isn’t just the mother and child that can benefit from breastfeeding. Society as a whole benefits when mothers breastfeed their children. Not only does it save lives, but exclusively breastfed infants are also less likely to acquire and die from SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. Breastfeeding is also an effective way of saving money. Breastfed infants are less likely to get sick, thus fewer, and lower medical costs to cover sick care visits, hospitalization, and prescriptions. Breastfeeding helps the workforce to be more productive as breastfeeding mothers are less likely to miss work due to caring for their sick infants as compared those who feed their infants formula. Lastly, breastfeeding is better for the environment because of the less demand for formula cans and bottles that will likely end up as trash and plastic waste.
Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life is recommended until the second year of the child, together with complementary feeding.
It is important that mothers are given the proper support to be able to breastfeed their infants without any problems and this is where the family members, the workplaces, the government, and society as whole needs to step up. The support of family members is important in helping the mother build her confidence in breastfeeding. When a family is supportive to the breastfeeding mother and are knowledgeable in breastfeeding, they can provide not only physical help to the mother, but emotional help as well. Family members may learn how to handle breastmilk and cup feed which can be of help to the mother especially when the mother needs to go back to work.
Transitioning back to the workplace is a challenge for the breastfeeding mother, her baby, and the family or caretaker at home. Working mothers may be able to go back to work without having to worry about their child’s feeding if the family members or the baby’s caregiver learn how to handle breastmilk properly and feed the child.
Breastfeeding is immensely under-appreciated especially for working women, thus goes unsupported and uncompensated which leads to premature weaning or mothers not breastfeeding at all. Mothers who chose to invest in breastfeeding often lose income opportunities or even worse, work, thus there is also a massive need for the support of businesses, employers, labor groups and advocates, and the government in promoting breastfeeding and providing workplaces that are breastfeeding friendly. By the establishment of lactation stations and breastfeeding-friendly workplaces, optimal infant feeding practices are promoted.
- Category: Region 3
Across the world, Philippines is one of the countries with high rates of malnutrition such as stunting and wasting, and overcoming stunting is our hope and dreams for Philippine’s little angels. However, the COVID-19 Pandemic has threatened the health and nutrition of the vulnerable sectors which include pregnant women and young children. Moreover, health professionals are alarmed with the possibilities that malnutrition in the country will further increase if no interventions will be put in place.
With that, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) together with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Zero Hunger started the Tutok Kainan Supplementation Program (TKSP) with the aspiration to reduce stunting among children aged 6 to 23 months old during the pandemic. And in Central Luzon, the Province of Nueva Ecija is included in the priority areas of the said program.
Last October 20 and 22, 2021, Provincial Nutrition Focal Point (PNFP) Celestine Joy Membrebe had visited the 10 target municipalities in the Province of Nueva Ecija to personally introduce the TKSP to their Local Chief Executives (LCEs) and Sangguniang Bayan for Health. PNFP Membrebe explained the TKSP’s goal and objectives and discussed the very important roles that the Local Government Units (LGUs) should carry out to achieve the success of this program. Mayor Allan Xystus Gamilla of the Municipality of Bongabon, Mayor Florida P. Esteban of the Municipality of Cuyaoo, Mayor Mariano Cristino Joson of the Municipality of Quezon, Councilor for Health Joyce Bulalayao of the Municipality of Zaragoza, and Councilor for Health Pamela Magno of the Municipality of San Isidro all expressed their support TKSP as they recognized the program as a great step to prevent and reduce stunting.
As part of the region’s social preparation, the NNC-Region III has requested the LGUs to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the NNC to formalize their support for the implementation of the TKSP. Prior to MOU signing, the Sangguniang Bayan of each municipality also crafted a resolution authorizing the LCEs to have a MOU with the NNC, with the goal of supporting and adopting the TKSP in the coming years for sustainability.
Indeed, this is just a little step in starting the Tutok Kainan Supplementation Program in Central Luzon but this will also have a big impact on achieving its objective because all things can be done when all sectors work together. And working hand-in-hand, little by little for these children will serve as our little steps to heaven-like world for our future generation.
By: Celestine Joy Membrebe, Provincial Nutrition Focal Point for ECCD First 1000 Days
- Category: Region 3
Cognizant of the power and reach of the radio as a key channel to inform, advocate, and influence positively the perception of the general public, the NNC-Region III continuously collaborates with DOH Central Luzon Center for Health Development for the airing of 2020-2021 Nutrition School-on-the-Air (NSOA) with the aim of improving the nutrition situation of mother and his/her child during the First 1000 (F1K) days. A NSOA-F1KDays and Beyond radio magazine will be aired by October 2021.
Early January 2021, one of the topics in 10 NSOA episodes aired in DWRW-FM 95 is the importance of breastfeeding in improving and sustaining the breastfeeding practices among lactating mothers. It was articulately discussed by Ms. Ching Pangilinan, the President of Breastfeeding Pinays (BP) in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, who certainly believes that breastmilk is a liquid gold. We must not forget: Breasfeeding “TSEk”: Tama, Sapat at Eksklusibo, which can also be re-written as “Breasfeeding: Tama, Sapat at Eksklusibo mula sa “Gintong Likido”!
Inspired by how Ms. Ching Pangilinan narrated the learning experiences of the BP association, I was also prompted to share the flight of an equally experienced mother, who requested not to mention her real name but just unlock her wonderful experience how she battled the challenges as a working breastfeeding mom. I asked her why she continues breastfeeding while working and going through the troubles of breastfeeding, she just simply answered: “I wanted to give my baby a heads-up and a head-start in life, through the best, safest, most nutritious milk there is”.
- Category: Region 3
Hello, November! It’s Children’s Month and NNC-Region III promotes the celebration and putting children’s concerns of the Regional Council for the Welfare of Children (RCWC) of Central Luzon. As one of the members of this inter-agency committee, NNC supports the 28th National Children’s Month celebration with the theme: “Sama-samang Itaguyod ang Karapatan ng Bawat Bata sa Panahon ng Pandemya”.
There are 10 Filipino Children’s Rights (Karapatan ng Bawat Batang Pilipino) being espoused by the RCWC.
- Maisilang at magkaroon ng pangalan at nasyonalidad (The right to be born and to be given a name and a nationality);
- Magkaroon ng tahanan at pamilyang mag-aaruga (The right to have a home and a family who will take care for me);
- Manirahan sa mapayapa at tahimik na lugar (The right to live in a peaceful and healthy environment);
- Magkaroon ng sapat na pagkain, malusog at aktibong katawan (The right to have enough food, a healthy and active body);
- Mabigyan ng sapat na edukasyon (The right to education);
- Mapaunlad ang angking kakayahan (The right to develop oneself);
- Mabigyan ng sapat na pagkakataong makapaglaro at makapaglibang (The right to play and recreation);
- Mabigyan ng proteksyon laban sa pang-aabuso, panganib at karahasan (The right to be protected from abuse, danger and oppression);
- Maipagtanggol at matulungan ng pamahalaan (The right be protected and helped by the state); at
- Makapagpahayag ng sariling pananaw (The right to self-expression).
Of these 10 Children’s Rights, the 4th Karapatan ng Batang Pilipino, “Magkaroon ng Sapat na Pagkain, Malusog at Aktibong Katawan” highlights the important role of nutrition. From this standpoint, one may see when this Child’s Right starts and ends. This particular Child’s Right also encompasses RA 11148 otherwise known as the “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act”, in support of the First 1000 Days program.