On December 23, 2021, Regional Director (RD) James O. Ponce of Department of Agrarian Reform Regional Office III (DAR RO III) and Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator (RNPC) Ana Maria B. Rosaldo of the National Nutrition Council Region III (NNC R3) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of Tutok Kainan Supplementation Program (TKSP). Settling the MOU with the DAR RO III is one step towards the start of the TKSP as it is part of the program’s social preparation component.

DAR RO III Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Atty. Odgie C. Cayabyab gave the opening remarks where he shared that their office is excited to work hand-in-hand with the NNC RO III in reducing the prevalence of malnutrition in Nueva Ecija Province. After ARD Cayabyab’s message, RNPC Rosaldo discussed the brief overview of the activity and of the TKSP. She also took the opportunity to welcome DAR RO III as the new member of Central Luzon Regional Nutrition Committee.

Provincial Nutrition Focal Person Celestine Joy L. Membrebe discussed the content of the MOU before the actual conduct of the ceremonial signing of MOU where RNPC Rosaldo and RD Ponce served as the first and second party, respectively. This was witnessed by Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer (CARPO) Iluminado D. Ocampo and Nutrition Officer (NO) III Angelita M. Pasos. Department of Health Central Luzon Center for Health Development Nutritionist-Dietitian (ND) IV Margarita C. Santos-Nativiidad, DAR Provincial Office of Nueva Ecija Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Eden B. Ponio and ARD Cayabyab were also present during the said ceremonial signing.

RD Ponce and PARPO II Ponio gave their commitment of support. In the speech of RD Ponce, he emphasized the important role of TKSP in achieving the goal of Enhance Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) Program and ensure that DAR RO III will provide support until the end of the program. On the other hand, PARPO III Ponio guaranteed that DARPO of Nueva Ecija will assist NNC Region III to have a smooth partnership with the Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs).

The ceremony was closed with a message delivered by CARPO Ocampo. In his message, he thanked the attendees for witnessing the formalization of DAR RO III’s commitment in implementing TKSP. He also looks forward to a pleasant working relationship between DAR RO III and NNC RO III.

The MOU highlights the objective of TKSP and the roles and responsibilities of both parties. One of the responsibilities of DAR RO III is to facilitate the linking of ARBOs and NNC Region III in Nueva Ecija Province since they will serve as NNC RO III’s partner in terms of marketing their commodities needed for hot meals.

In line with this responsibility, DAR RO III with the help of DARPO Nueva Ecija, gathered the ARBOs that can be possible partners of NNC RO III. Six (6) ARBOs were convene last October 25, 2021 but on October 28, 2021, only four of them signified their interest to partner with NNC R3. The four (4) ARBOs are the: Golden Beans and Grains Producers Cooperative, Golden Harvest of Talavera Multi-purpose Cooperative, Liberty Fisherman and Farmers Association, and Panabingan Multi-purpose Cooperative.

On December 28, 2022, a ceremonial signing of Marketing Agreements (MA) between these four (4) ARBOs was held to formalize their commitment as part of the TKSP. In this event, PARPO II Ponio delivered the welcome message and shared her own translation of the song “Seasons of Love.” Using the song as metaphor, she encouraged everyone to measure a year not in terms of time but by love. She mentioned that as the ARBOs agreed to take part in TKSP, they also form part of the government’s advocacy to help the marginalized and the vulnerable group, which will show their love for their community.

PNFP Membrebe provided the overview of the activity where she discussed its background and its objectives. She also gave updates on the progress of TKSP in Nueva Ecija. While NPC Rosaldo discussed the obligations of the NNC RO III and the ARBOs which were also reflected in the MA. After this, the ceremonial signing of MA per ARBO followed.

NPC Rosaldo signed the MA with the four (4) ARBO chairs who came with their respective witnesses. Golden Beans and Grains Producers Cooperative Chairman Leonilo S. Dela Cruz, Golden Harvest of Talavera MPC Chairman Renato C. Dela Cruz, Liberty Fisherman and Farmers Association Chairman Ernesto M. Palacion, and Panabingan MPC Chairman Petronilo G. Ucol signed the MA and their witness are Manager John M. Gilbert, Treasurer Myrna R. Joaquin, Secretary Corazon L. Villajuan, and Manager Abundino Gabuni, respectively.

Each chairman expressed their commitment of support and all pledged to support the program. While they hope to gain profit from the program, they also anticipated to face losses but also hope for the betterment of the nutritional status of children in the target municipalities. The ARBOs expressed their commitment that whatever the outcomes are, they will consider the experience as lesson that they can use for future transactions.

PARPO I Josephine K. Aguinaldo delivered the closing message. She expressed her hope for the success of the program and greeted everyone a happy holiday.

Indeed, solving the nutritional problem in Central Luzon cannot be done by a single agency or organization as it needs a whole-of-government and whole-of-nation approach. This partnership with DAR RO III and with the ARBOs only proves that combined actions will lead to better results.


Celestine Joy L. Membrebe
Provincial Nutrition Focal Point
National Nutrition Council Region III