“Take on ME” in Region III means switching on to Monitoring and Evaluation (ME) of the local level nutrition program implementation. Yes, the National Nutrition Council-Region III, in coordination with the Regional Nutrition Technical Working Group (RNTWG) as the Regional Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation Team (RNMET) launches this year’s Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implementation (MELLPI) Pro for Local Government Units (LGUs) at the Provincial, Municipal and City levels and Local Nutrition Focal Persons (LNFPs) - the Nutrition Action Officers, District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators and the barangay volunteer nutrition workers – the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs).
Two online orientations on the MELLPI LGU Implementing Guidelines for 2021: Part 1 on Evaluating LGUs on 17 May 2021 and Part 2 on Evaluating the LNFPs on 17 June 2021 were held for the members of Central Luzon regional network to have deeper appreciation of the MELLPI Pro.
In 2018, the NNC-Region III started the training of LGU implementers on the use of MELLPI Pro electronic tools in the 7 provinces, 14 cities and 116 municipalities in Central Luzon. The two-prong objectives of the MELLPI Pro are: 1) to assess the nutrition program performance of the LGUs and the LNFPs, and 2) recognize those with exemplary performance in the delivery of direct nutrition and nutrition-sensitive services.
The training served as the turning point in nutrition program management among the nutrition committee members because apart from being local implementers, they too will serve as an independent body called MET or Monitoring and Evaluation Team at the municipal, city and provincial levels.
The tasks of the Municipal MET, City MET and Provincial MET along MELLPI Pro began in 2018 as the Regional Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation Team (RNMET) no longer evaluate all the 137 LGUs but only the 7 provinces and 2 highly urbanized cities in Central Luzon. Worth noting also was the varied reaction and acceptance of the 12 component cities as the new guidelines indicated that their nutrition program will be monitored and evaluated by the respective Provincial Nutrition Committees.
As an expression of support to the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022, the City Nutrition Office (CNO) of Mabalacat City held an Orientation on the PPAN 2017-2022 during the City Nutrition Committee (CNC) meeting on 22 July 2021 at the Sidegrill Restaurant, Barangay Mabiga, Mabalacat City.
The activity was graced by Dr. Victor D. Tiglao II, Chair of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Health. He congratulated the CNO for the continuous implementation of nutrition programs and projects in the Mabalacat City Government despite the COVID 19 pandemic. Dr. Tiglao gave his assurance that he will incessantly support the CNO in implementing the nutrition and nutrition-related programs.
The activity was attended by the members of the CNC, namely: City Health Office, City Environment and Natural Resources, City Planning and Development Office, City Social Welfare and Development Office, Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government Unit, Public Employment Service Office, and the new members of the CNC such as the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, City Information Office, and Early Childhood Care and Development Office.
Ms. Joronny Gladys A. Lingat, City Nutrition Action Officer presented the ordinance on the reorganization of the City Nutrition Committee, along with the duties and responsibilities of its members (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1TbJivOCXq_7_0X6MG6m6aU8SvjcYPJ9U?usp=sharing).
Ms. Rovi Mae Fernandez and Ms. Hannah Camille Pasamonte presented the City Nutrition Office accomplishments and the nutrition situation in Mabalacat City, respectively. Results of the OPT Plus in 2018 to 2020 showed a decreasing trend of malnutrition in the city.
Prior to the presentation on the PPAN, Ms. Rose Anne M. Cuyco, Nutrition Officer II of the National Nutrition Council-Region III, shared a brief background about the National Nutrition Council (NNC), its mandate, mission and vision, composition of the NNC Governing Board and major programs, among others.
The PPAN 2017-2022 consisted of eight (8) nutrition-specific programs, and 11 nutrition-sensitive programs, and three (3) enabling programs. The nutrition-specific programs which are DOH-led programs are the 1) Infant and young child feeding; 2) Integrated Management of Acute Malnutriton; 3) National Dietary Supplementation Program; 4) National Nutrition Promotion Program for Behavior Change; 5) Micronutrient Supplementation; 6) Mandatory Food Fortification; 7) Nutrition in Emergencies; and 8) Overweight and Obesity Management and Prevention Program. Complementing these nutrition-specific interventions are nutrition-sensitive programs. These are development programs and projects that will be tweaked to produce nutritional outcomes. Tweaking can be done by targeting households with undernourished children or nutritionally-vulnerable groups, or targeting areas with high levels of malnutrition, or being a channel for delivering nutrition-specific interventions. (PPAN Medium-Term Review, 2019)
The National Nutrition Council Region III, in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency Regional Office III, spearheaded the conduct of 2021 Nutrition Month Launching cum Presser on 5 July 2021 via zoom teleconference and FB livestream.
The event was attended by more than nine hundred participants from national line agencies, local government units and local media partners.
The 2021 NM Launch cum Presser started with the 2021 NM prayer and national anthem followed by the Welcome Message of Dr. Corazon I. Flores of the DOH Central Luzon Center for Health Development and Chair of the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee (CL RNC). Dr. Flores emphasized DOH’s lead role in implementing First 1,000 Days programs. She likewise encouraged members of the CL RNC to collaborate to end hunger and malnutrition in the region.
RNPC Rosaldo discussed the overview of the 2021 Nutrition Month celebration which included proposed actions and activities of various stakeholders.
Panel of discussants during the Press Conference were members of the CL RNC led by Dr. Flores, OIC Regional Director Jay E. Timbreza of the DILG-Regional Office III, OIC Regional Executive Director Crispulo G. Bautista of the DA Regional Field Unit III represented by Engr. AB David, Regional Director William Beltran of the PIA Regional Office III, Regional Director Julius Cesar Sicat of the DOST Regional Office III and RNPC Ana Maria B. Rosaldo of the NNC-Region III.
“A good start promises a good ending”. This is the conviction behind the conduct of the online workshops on Integrating Nutrition in the Annual Investment Programs (AIPs) of the local government units, particularly in Central Luzon. For CY 2021, the NNC-Region III conducted three (3) batches of online workshop for the provinces of Nueva Ecija on 1-2 June 2021, Aurora on 9-11 June 2021 and Tarlac on 29-30 June 2021. Participants composed of the City/Municipal Nutrition Action Officers, City/Municipal Budget Officers, City/Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators, City/Municipal Health Officers and City/Municipal Local Government Operations Officers from Palayan City and 11 municipalities of Nueva Ecija, 15 municipalities of Tarlac and 4 municipalities of Aurora attended the workshop. Four (4) municipalities were able to present their 2022 AIPs: Bongabon, Nueva Ecija; Pura, Tarlac; and Dipaculao and Baler, Aurora.
The major objective of the workshop is for the LGUs to prepare their 2022 AIP between July to September to be able to present in time for the budget hearing in October 2021.
The Provincial/City Nutrition Action Officers (P/CNAOs) and District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators (D/CNPCs) of Central Luzon are considered the backbone of the workshop as manifested by their cooperation and support in conducting the activity via virtual platform. The banner above illustrates the interaction among the regional network as planners and implementors of the regional and local nutrition program. “One nutrition, One Central Luzon” remains to be the region’s battle cry in the prevention of stunting, wasting, undernutrition and overnutrition among preschool and school children, chronic energy-deficiency among pregnant and lactating women. Families of these at-risk groups are considered as the very important persons (VIPs) targeted in this AIP workshops. To date, a total of 47 LGUs out of the 137 LGUs in the region had formulated their 2021-2022 Annual Investment Programs, not undermining the local nutrition action plans which are also integral part of the AIP costing workbook.
On 22 June 2021, the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) in partnership with the Office of the Cabinet Secretary organized Kasama sa Pamana: Regional Pre-SONA Series in Region III held at Kingsborough International Conventions Center. The event serves as a comprehensive prequel for the President’s sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, 2021.
The event was participated by government officials, national government agencies, local chief executives and academe in Central Luzon. The event was highlighted with the presentation of the updates and accomplishments of President Duterte’s administration since 2016 as well as the plans for the remainder of his term and the government’s reponse on COVID-19 pandemic.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles graced the event. He presented keystone accomplishments of the present administration in the areas of economic and development, infrastructure, human development and poverty reduction, participatory governance, security, justice and peace, and climate change adaptation, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.
On 7 July 2021, in celebration of the 2021 Nutrition Month with the theme “Malnutrition patuloy na labanan, First 1000 days tutukan”, the National Nutrition Council Region III held a “meet and greet” activity with Regional Director (RD) William L. Beltran of the Philippine Information Agency-Region III and member of the Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee (CL RNC).
Ms. Ana Maria B. Rosaldo, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of NNC-Region III together with Nutrition Officer III Angelita M. Pasos, Nutrition Officer II Rose Anne M. Cuyco and Administrative Aide VI Isaiah Justin C. Batac, handed over to RD Beltran a copy of the Coffee Table Book (CTB) of One Thousand Days One Lifetime - Nourishing the country's future through Republic Act No. 11148 of the "Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act" as a meaningful way to promote the First 1,000 Days program.
RD Beltran is a staunch supporter of nutrition by ensuring that updates and information on nutrition and nutrition-related programs in Central Luzon are disseminated as widely as possible to the general public. PIA led the development of a communication plan on addressing malnutrition along with the promotion of 2012 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos or 10 Kumainments, Healthy Food Plate or Pinggang Pinoy, among others. RD Beltran also pushed for the approval of majority of the CL RNC resolutions presented by the NNC Secretariat during the RNC meetings.
Copies of the CTB were given to CL RNC-member agencies to serve as inspiration and to stir support to implement F1K days programs geared toward achieving the targets of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition, Philippine Development Plan, Philippine Health Agenda and the country’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals.
The One Thousand Days One Lifetime CTB was developed by the Legislators Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc., through the collaborative efforts of the UNICEF Philippines and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to promote the importance of the First 1000 days of life that would impact on the social and economic development of the country.
By: Rose Anne M. Cuyco, Nutrition Officer II