In search for better methods to address the nutritional problems in the region, NNC MiMaRoPa officially unveiled the updated Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022 for the stakeholders of MiMaRoPa region last 24 November 2017 at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel. The event was attended by Local Chief Executives (LCEs), Nutrition Action Officers (NAOs), District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators (D/CNPCs), Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC)/Regional Technical Working Group on Nutrition (RTWG), PROMO Nutrition Communicators and other nutrition stakeholders in the region. An exhibit of the PPAN Objectives, Strategic Thrusts, and the Nutrition-Specific Programs was also unveiled during the activity.
PPAN 2017-2022 is the country’s framework for nutrition action and serves as a guide for national governments, local government units, non-government organizations, development partners and other stakeholders who want to be involved in nutrition action as it lays the targets, directions and priority actions to address malnutrition particularly stunting and wasting, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity.
OIC Carina Z. Santiago presented the PPAN 2017-2022 which differs from its predecessors with regards to the separation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs. The causes of malnutrition is multifactorial, therefore, interventions should not only be focused on the nutrition-specific programs (which directly addresses the immediate causes of malnutrition) but also gives priority to nutrition-sensitive programs (which addresses the underlying cause of malnutrition). Also, enabling programs focusing on human development and functionality of local nutrition committees also aid in the attainment of the targets for both under- and overnutrition.
To further elaborate, nutrition-specific programs are interventions directly addressing the nutritional status of individuals. Examples of nutrition-specific interventions are Infant and Young Child Feeding, Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition, National Dietary Supplementation Program, National Nutrition Promotion Program for Behavior Change, Micronutrient supplementation, Mandatory Food Fortification, Nutrition in emergencies, and Overweight and Obesity Management and Prevention Program. On the other hand, nutrition-sensitive programs are non-nutrition programs or projects that were tweaked to produce nutritional outcomes. Through the synergistic action of the nutrition-specific, nutrition-sensitive, and enabling programs, the new targets set for the different nutrition indicators can be achieved more effectively and efficiently.
The PPAN 2017-2022 is guided by the following strategic thrusts:
- Focus on the first 1000 days
- Complementation of nutrition-specific interventions and nutrition-sensitive interventions
- Intensified mobilization of local government units in focus provinces
- Reaching geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, communities of indigenous peoples (IP), and the urban poor especially those in resettlement areas
- Complementation of actions of national and local governments
In MiMaRoPa, three provinces are included in the 36 focus areas for the PPAN 2017-2022. This includes Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, and Romblon. These areas will be given priority in the nutrition program implementation and advocacies by the NNC. In 2018, a Local Government Unit (LGU)-Mobilization workshop will be spearheaded by the NNC Regional Offices to further enhance the capacities of the LGUs in their respective regions.
Dr. Mary Christine R. Castro, Executive Director of the Nutrition Center of the Philippines (NCP) and member of the RNC delivered the keynote address which emphasized the enhanced collaboration among LGUs and regional line agencies to address the persistent nutrition problems in the region.
Partners of NNC MiMaRoPa (NEDA-MiMaRoPa, BFAR-MiMaRoPa, POPCOM Region IV, Zuellig Family Foundation, and PROMO Nutri Com) committed to align their programs and projects and continuously support the PPAN 2017-2022. While regional federations such as the Nutrition Action Officers’ Association of the Philippines (NAOPA) – MiMaRoPa Chapter, District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators’ Association of the Philippines (D/CNPCAP) – MiMaRoPa Chapter, and BNS Federation in Region IV-B also committed to support the updated PPAN through the implementation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions in their respective areas.
As a proof that the programs under the updated PPAN can be achieved, Dr. Leonor N. Daite of Roxas, Oriental Mindoro presented the municipality’s best practices on nutrition program implementation. Roxas is the Green Banner Awardee – Regional Outstanding Municipality in MiMaRoPa for three consecutive years, making them eligible to receive the Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) award for this year.
To further strengthen the commitment of the attendees during the Regional Dissemination, a planning workshop was conducted after the presentation of the PPAN and commitments of partners. The workshop aimed to identify specific commitments that will contribute to the achievement of the PPAN. Majority of the LGUs plan to conduct a provincial dissemination of PPAN 2017-2022 to gain the support of their respective LCEs and other stakeholders.
The PPAN 2017-2022 is another step in attaining better nutrition outcomes for MiMaRoPans. As presented in the dissemination, LGUs and other partners are urged to do something different and innovative and to translate the PPAN 2017-2022 into action to be able to see better outcomes in the future. Participants during the dissemination gained important knowledge but given a more important task of re-echoing this knowledge in their respective areas, keeping in mind the PPAN 2017-2022 slogan, “Sa PPAN: Panalo ang Bayan!” //jlbv