The National Nutrition Council (NNC) MIMAROPA Region under the leadership of Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator, Ms. Ma. Eileen B. Blanco, RND, MPA, officially launched the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement 3.0 held on 25 April 2022 via Zoom video conference and via the NNC MIMAROPA’s official Facebook page. An estimated total of 300 participants composed of local nutrition focal points, local chief executives, non-governmental agencies and joined by various representatives from the business network, civil society alliances, developmental partners and from the academe. This event was a significant step forward for NNC MIMAROPA in its efforts to promote health and nutrition for the region's people, as well as in achieving remarkable nutritional outcomes.
The activity formally started with an opening message from the Department of Health Center for Health Development Regional Director and Chair of the Regional Nutrition Committee Dr. Mario S. Baquilod, delivered by Medical Officer IV Dr. Mathew Medrano. This was followed by the delivery of a keynote message of Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang, Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council. She mentioned the need to scale-up our investments to protect the nutritionally at-risk and vulnerable, especially the children and pregnant women, thus, all are enjoined to join forces to protect the next generation.
The virtual event was also graced by an inspirational message from Hon. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, House Speaker, 18th Congress and District Representative Lone District of Marinduque, from which he highlighted the importance of strengthening our dedication to our goal to eliminate malnutrition. He also expressed that he will actively participate in all the programs and initiatives of NNC MIMAROPA to cater the needs of the residents of Region IV-B in terms of health and nutrition.
The main part of the activity included discussions on the SUN, SUN 3.0, and SUN Networks. The SUN and SUN 3.0 Strategy was discussed by the Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator and Officer-in-Charge of the Nutrition Policy and Planning Division (NPPD) of the NNC, Ms. Arlene R. Reario, while Ms. April Jasmine May C. Ducusin, Nutrition Officer II, NPPD-NNC, discussed the roles of the SUN Business, Civil Society and Academe Network.
The discussions were followed by another activity highlight where nutrition partners delivered their statements of support, to wit: DILG MIMAROPA Regional Director and Vice Chair of the Regional Nutrition Committee Wilhelm M. Suyko from the government sector; Dr. Arnolfo M. Monleon, Branch Director of Marinduque State College- Torrijos Campus representing the MIMAROPA SUN Academe Network; Ms. Juvelyn V. Gumal-in, Executive Director of Pampamayanang Mangyan Ugnayan, Inc. representing the MIMAROPA SUN Civil Society Network; and Ms. Lyn M. Beltran, Administrative Manager of BACS Construction Services & Engineering Consultancy, representing the MIMAROPA SUN Business Network.
Statements about the stunting prevalence in MIMAROPA LGUs were also delivered by the different governors of the provinces including Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito A. Dolor represented by Provincial Nutrition Action Officer (PNAO) Norine Dacula; Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco Jr.; Romblon Governor Jose R. Riano represented by PNAO Dr. Lino Marcus M. Viola; and Palawan Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez represented by PNAO Rachel Paladan. Each one of them reiterated their commitment to reduce stunting and to do everything in their power to support the initiatives related to SUN 3.0 Movement.
The event was formally closed by NNC MIMAROPA NPC-OIC Ms. Ma. Eileen B. Blanco. In her closing message, she mentioned that the effort to convene representatives from the civil society, business, and academe network is part of the collective and coherent strategy for accelerated nutrition progress. She emphasized that through the strong commitment and support of everyone to all the projects and initiatives that are parallel to the goals of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition, MIMAROPA region will be able to achieve being free from all forms of malnutrition.
The NNC MIMAROPA hopes that by launching the SUN Strategy 3.0 in the region, members of the regional nutrition committee and SUN networks would work together to execute nutrition programs that will meet the needs of the MIMAROPA population, embodying the famous quote : “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.
Written by NO I Lorelie Millares and NO III Camille Chen