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It’s been a year since the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Shepherding Project was conceptualized in Region III.  The Nutrition Shepherding Project is a platform that involves guiding and mentoring low performing LGUs by a regional nutrition shepherding team to enhance their knowledge and skills on nutrition program management.

From October 26, 2021, up to October 26, 2022, the team had reached a very challenging milestone.  Kudos to the National Nutrition Council and the rest of the team of Nutrition Information and Education Division headed by Ms. Jovita B. Raval, Ms. Queenie Rose Amosco and Ms. Abigael A. Pabro. 

The journey started on 26 October 2021 when the group was called to attend the training online for four days, from October 26 and 29, 2022 up to November 5 and 9, 2022 via Zoom app, together with the other RNST teams from all the regions of the country, led by the NNC-Regional Offices.  The training was organized by DOH-NNC and Nutrition International.  Selecting the main actors from the members of the Regional Nutrition Technical Working Group (RNTWG), the NNC-Region III invited the National Economic and Development Authority-Regional Office III – Ms. Neomi J. Estabillo; Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – Ms. Sharlene Dimaliwat; Department of Health Central Luzon Center for Health and Development (DOH CL CHD), the Chairperson of the Regional Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation Team (RNMET) – Ms. Margarita C. Santos-Natividad, Bulacan Province represented by Ms. Gregoria A. Calilung from a top-performing local government unit (LGU) in nutrition program implementation, with the Nutrition Program Coordinator (NPC) Ana Maria B. Rosaldo and Nutrition Officer (NO) III Angelita M. Pasos.

The training consisted of lectures, group interactions and workshop to formulate a Regional Nutrition Shepherding Team (RNST) Action Plan for CY-2021 to 2022.

On April 26-27, 2022, NNC-Region III conducted the first, two-day onsite training at the Otel Pampanga, Lazatin Boulevard, City of San Fernando, facilitated by NPC Rosaldo and NO III Pasos. Participants to the training were Ms. Ma. Elena L. Carreon of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Regional Field Office III, Ms. Flordeliza S. Dealagdon and Ms. Junnie Kaye Sanchez-Manalang from the Commission on Human Rights-Regional Office III, and Mr. Paulo Israel S. Franco of the DILG-RO III, Mr. Domenic Alegria from Bulacan Province, and the Nutrition Officers from NNC Region III Ms. Rose Anne M. Cuyco and Ms. Antonette Gail D. Garcia and ECCD Focal Point for Tutok Kainan Dietary Supplementation Program, Ms. Celestine Joy L. Membrebe.

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Yearly the NNC-Region III conducts and ensure that the regional nutrition office staff are refresh with the Civil Service Commission’s rules and regulations.  Although, some of the staff are contractual staff, they are given the equal opportunity to learn and embrace the glory and challenges of civil service as part of the government’s workforce. In a way, working together as one is the motto of NNC Region III Team: Together Everyone Achieves More. 

On the 5th of September 2022, the team was able to accomplish  one of the targets in the 2022 Training and Development Plan and that was it.  DMO II Rose Anne M. Cuyco facilitated the opening prayer, singing of the national anthem and the National Nutrition Council hymn. RNPC Ana Maria B. Rosaldo gave her warm welcome message expressing her profound gratitude to Regional Director Fernando O. Mendoza of CSC-RO3 for supporting this endeavor of NNC-RO3 to widen its personnel’s knowledge on the specific CSC rules and regulations covering not only government employees but also the contract service workers who also play a significant part in the realization of RO3 staff’s certain competencies in performing their tasks. NPC Rosaldo mentioned that the request for orientation on CSC rules and regulations is part of the approved training and development plan for CY 2022 of NNC-Region III.  Similar orientation was done in the past but there is a need to have regular updates on the rules and regulations since the agency have new set of staff.

Two subject matter experts (SMEs) from the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Regional Office III located at Diosdado Macapagal Government Center, Barangay Maimpis, City of San Fernando, Pampanga were invited to facilitate the orientation, namely Attorney Maria Melissa D. Cariňo, Attorney VI and Officer-In-Charge of Legal Services Division; and Mr. Edwin P. Sunglao, Supervising Personnel Specialist of Human Services Division Atty. Maria Melissa D. Cariňo defined Civil Service as “a generic term which refer to all officials and employees in all the branches, subdivision, instrumentalities and agencies of the government, including government-controlled corporations with original charters” based on Rule 1, Section 4D of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service or RACCS.  The session includes the following topics: scope of civil service, the historical highlights of the CSC, functions of the CSC, the eight laws governing the civil service employees and officials.  She also gave an overview on RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, which deals mainly on the eight (8) norms of conduct of public officials and employees, systems of incentives and awards, duties of public officials and employees, and prohibited acts and transactions in the government service.  One good reminder that she discussed and reviewed with the RO3 Team was the nationality and patriotism which involves the “Pambansang Sagisag”, which started with the “watawat” and ended with pambansang sapin sa paa.  It was fun to recall what the pambansang ulam, which made the RO3 Team wonder awhile. All along, we knew that it is “adobo”. Only to find out that it is actually lechon, as the pambansang ulam. Similarly, pambansang sayaw is not tinikling but “cariňosa”.

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On 7 March 2022, the National Nutrition Council Region III conducted an Advocacy Meeting with Non-Government Organizations, Private Sectors and members of the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee on the Establishment of Central Luzon Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Network Movement.

The SUN Movement is a transformed effort to eliminate all forms of malnutrition. It is founded on the principle that everyone has a right to food and good nutrition. The movement is distinct because it aims to gather different groups of people, such as national government agencies, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses, academe, and scientists, to form networks that will work in collective action to improve nutrition. The movement’s efforts are towards strengthening the political commitments and the accountability for these commitments, thus, it is not a fund, an institution nor an agency.

The advocacy meeting became an avenue to convene NGAs, NGOs and private sectors in Central Luzon. The meeting recognized that collaborating with the NGOs is key to achieving greater results and to scale-up nutrition and related programs. The activity was participated by ADD Foundation International Inc. & La Verdad Christian College, AKO Ang Saklay Inc., Bifinificiaries International Foundation Inc, Children's Bible Ministries Phils., Inc., Casita Pagasa Inc , Diocese of San Jose Nueva Ecija Social Action Commission, Fresh Hope Refuge Shelter Inc., Gentle Hands Inc., LFCI KPP Kasanib sa Pagabot ng Pangarap,Inc., Lost Coin Ministries Foundation Inc., St. Augustine Sambali Fund, Inc. Members of the Regional Nutrition Technical Working Group, namely: Bureau of Fire Protection, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Information Agency and Philippine National Police, were also present.

Ms. Ana Maria B. Rosaldo, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator highlighted the meaning and importance of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. According to her, SUN Movement is a renewed effort to eliminate malnutrition, based on the principle that everyone has a right to food and good nutrition. She discussed the SUN Movement vision, that "By 2030, ensure a world free from malnutrition in all its forms". Led by governments and supported by organizations and individuals' collective action, the SUN will ensure that every child, adolescent, mother and family can realize their right to food and nutrition, reach their full potential and shape sustainable and prosperous societies.

NPC Rosaldo also emphasized the benefits that nutrition will provide to the human capital of every country or its people. Good nutrition during the first 1000 days of a child’s life is critical to achieve the full physical, intellectual and human potential in adolescent and adulthood. Investing in nutrition will produce positive outcome.

Just like other regions, Central Luzon is also experiencing the triple burden of malnutrition - while the region addresses undernutrition, stunting, wasting, over nutrition which includes overweight and obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies are also prevalent in the region.

The SUN envisions a world free from malnutrition by 2030. Its goal is to speed up the progress towards World Health Assembly global targets on all forms of malnutrition.

The activity ended with a closing message of NPC Rosaldo, thanking the participants for attending the meeting, as the first step or partnership toward the achievement of the WHA's goal of a world free from malnutrition.

 

By:

ROSE ANNE CUYCO
Nutrition Officer II

Photo Collage Natural Travel Design SEEK Cover Image 1

By Marie Joy S. Carbungco 

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (PIA) -- National Nutrition Council (NNC) Central Luzon culminated the 2022 Nutrition Month celebration, with highlight on the Scaling Up Network (SUN) Movement and the commissioning of the Regional Nutrition Shepherding Team (RNST). 

During the event, NNC 3 Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Ana Maria Rosaldo stressed the importance of working collaboratively with different stakeholders for greater impact of the different nutrition programs and initiatives in the region. 

“The SUN Network Movement is unique as it brings different groups of people together apart from the government. It is transforming the way in which people work together by empowering people to put in place effective systems and increased investment towards nutrition in order to achieve positive outcomes,” she said. 

To have a deeper appreciation of the SUN Movement and serve as guide on how the region will establish its own network, NNC invited national convenors for different sectors including the academe, businesses, civil society organizations, and development partners to share their best practices and experiences in forming their groups. 

“We will engage them [different sectors] because they have resources that can serve as input for us to further improve our nutrition situation here in Central Luzon. We see from the other regions that have established their own [SUN] movement that multi-sectoral partnerships can do so much to fill in the gaps needed in the government in order to level up our nutrition agenda,” Rosaldo said. 

Meanwhile, the event also featured commissioning of the RNST led by the Department of Health (DOH) Central Luzon Center for Health Development (CL-CHD). 

The team, which is initially composed of 24 members, primarily aims to provide technical assistance to local government units (LGUs) in order to mobilize them towards effective nutrition program management. 

Said core team will shepherd priority LGUs on effective nutrition program management focusing on  nutrition policies, nutrition planning and budgeting, and local nutrition structures and human resource.

“We have been extending assistance to our LGUs for a long time especially when we are conducting the monitoring and evaluation of local level plan implementation (MELLPI). However, this is not structured. It is only in an on-call basis and based only on what we saw as a result of the MELLPI. With this RNST, our technical assistance is now more structured so we can focus on the LGUs until they become self-propelling, their local nutrition committees are functional, and they can also shepherd other LGUs. They can also adopt the strategies used by the RNST in their component cities and municipalities,” Rosaldo said.

As part of their duties, RNST members will review the nutrition situation of priority LGUs and determine gaps in nutrition program implementation and management; as well as assist in identifying solutions to address identified gaps. 

The team members are also expected to share their knowledge, skills, experiences, and proven strategies that may contribute to finding solutions to the identified implementation gaps as applicable and suitable to the priority LGUs. 

The celebration is anchored on the theme “New Normal na Nutrisyon, Sama-Samang Gawan ng Solusyon”. (MJSC/PIA-3)

National Nutrition Council (NNC) and Local Government Academy (LGA) sign a three-year partnership agreement to strengthen capacities of local government units (LGUs) towards nutrition improvement. (Marie Joy S. Carbungco/PIA-3)
By Marie Joy S. Carbungco

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (PIA) – National Nutrition Council (NNC) signed a three-year partnership agreement with the Local Government Academy (LGA) to strengthen capacities of local government units (LGUs) towards nutrition improvement.

NNC Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang said there is a need to formalize the said partnership to capacitate LGUs to bring nutrition to the forefront of development.

“Both the LGA and the NNC are committed to the goal of eliminating all forms of malnutrition by 2030, consistent with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals…That is why we have sought the LGA to support us in capacitating local chief executives and local government functionaries to ensure that we are able to reach all the LGUs since they are the implementers of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) through their Local Nutrition Action Plans (LNAPs),” she said.

The director also cited that the next two years will be critical for nutrition since this is the time that the successor PPAN for 2023-2028 will be developed.

For her part, LGA Executive Director Thelma Vecina committed to work with NNC to combat malnutrition and contribute to the achievement of a strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure life for all Filipinos.

She said it is time to act collectively to address malnutrition, citing that the LGA believes that by engaging local chief executives (LCEs), they have more chances to eradicate this and to make their strategies and actions better than the previous years.

She also stressed the crucial role of LCEs in ensuring that nutrition programs are institutionalized in the local government since they [LCEs] are in the most strategic position to influence nutrition efforts.

National Nutrition Council Region III
On July 19, 2022, the National Nutrition Council Region III (NNC R3) convened the members of the Regional Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation Team (RNMET) for an Orientation on the Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implementation (MELLPI) Protocol.

The MELLPI Pro is an annual activity led by the RNMET which aims to monitor and evaluate the performance of the local government units (LGUs) in promoting nutrition security vis-à-vis nutrition outcomes. The MELLPI Pro is also a tool used to inform and guide policy and decision makers to enhance their nutrition products, services and delivery systems towards greater effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.

The one-day orientation was attended by 14 RNMET members from the 12 members agencies of the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee such as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (1), Department of Budget and Management (1), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (1), Department of Health (1), Department of Labor and Employment (1), Department of Science and Technology (1), Department of Trade and Industry (1), National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (1), National Economic and Development Authority (2), National Food Authority (1), Philippine Information Agency (1), and Philippine National Police (2).

The multi-sectoral composition of the RNMET resonates the 2022 Nutrition Month theme “New normal na nutrisyon, sama-samang gawan ng solusyon”, calling for unity and solidarity to address malnutrition in the new normal.

Topics discussed during the orientation includes an overview, key feature of the MELLPI Pro, Interim Guidelines of 2021 MELLPI Pro. Nutrition Officer III Angelita M. Pasos discussed the MELLPI Pro forms for local government units while Development Management Officer II (Provincial Nutrition Focal Person for ECCD F1K) Celestine Joy L. Membrebe shared the MELLPI Pro forms for the Local Nutrition Focal Persons.

The hands-on sessions on the use of the MELLPI Pro forms were highly appreciated by the RNMET as the sessions allowed them to have a full grasp of not just the use of the format but of the entire processes involved in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of LGUs’ nutrition programs.

Apart from welcoming the RNMET, NPC Ana Maria B. Rosaldo on the other hand, discussed the schedule of the MELLPI Pro which will commence in August until October, with Aurora Province as the first LGU to be visited.

The RNMET looks forward to the real test of the knowledge and skills they gained from the orientation and meeting the real champions on the ground.

Author: NPC Ana Maria B. Rosaldo