Legazpi City. The NNC Bicol in coordination with the Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC) held on 4 August its first-ever virtual 2020 Nutrition Month Culmination Program with a Webinar on Scaling-Up Nutrition Towards Resiliency to Pandemic: Adapting to the New Normal and Awarding Ceremony.
Using google meet, NNC Bicol team successfully conducted the Culmination Program, which was live-streamed via Facebook Pages of NNC Bicol, PIA 5, and one media partner, Zagitsit News FM Radio Station. A total of 108 participants joined via google meet while 1,732 watched the event via FB Live. The original member of the RTWG from DILG, Ms. Coniefer B. Codia, LGOO V, assigned now in Basud, Camarines Norte was the emcee moderator. DILG Regional Director Anthony C. Nuyda, Vice-Chair of RNC, gave the inspirational message. Atty Nuyda urged all LGUs to rally behind the government in its campaign to fight malnutrition stating that nutrition is an important indicator of the nation’s development. He added that the COVID-19 Pandemic will likely have an impact on nutrition in several ways. “Sa panahon nang pandemya alam natin na ang isa sa apektadong sector ay ang mga kabataan. The children are part of the vulnerable sector of the society. This is why we need to ensure that during this time of pandemic, they are able to eat nutritious food. ‘The following were his key recommendations to support nutrition in the time of COVID-19; (1) good nutrition is the key to build immunity, protect illness and infection, and support recovery urging LGUs to include in the COVID-19 prevention measures to preserve and promote nutrition; (2) ensure food and nutrition security, and, (3) ensure that nutrition-related interventions, especially in the 1st 1000 days of the child, are continued in a sustained manner. In closing, he encouraged the local nutrition committees to work together as a resilient community as we heal as one.
The 2020 Operation Timbang Plus Report of Bicol Region presented by NPC Reario focused on the status of preschoolers who are underweight, wasted, stunted, and overweight and identified LGUs with the highest prevalence of malnutrition by the indicator. This was followed by the discussion on Scaling-Up Nutrition Towards Resiliency to Pandemic: Adapting to the New Normal by Mr. Reginaldo T. Guillen, Nutrition Officer IV, Nutrition Policy and Planning Division, NNC, where he focused on strategies for building resilient communities and people through achieving better nutrition in the new normal. He urged all NAOs and members of the local nutrition committee to integrate nutrition in their comprehensive development plans and annual investment program when they develop their 2021 budgetary proposals.
The much-awaited part was the announcement and awarding of the 2020 Nutrition Month Digital Campaign of NNC RO V particularly the Vlog contest and 7-day Post Your Diet Challenge on the 2020 nutrition month theme, “Batang Pinoy Sana Tall. . . Iwas Stunting, Sama all, Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19”. With seasoned communication specialists and nutritionists-dietitians as members of the 2 boards of judges, the winners were finally honored during the event. Gift Cheques of P5,000, P3,000, and P2,000 were brought home by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placers while consolation prize to all other official entries was given 1,000 worth of gift cheques.
For the Vlog contest, Ligao City’s official entry, Benson T. Cariñaga came out the winner garnering an average score of 92.67%. This was the entry that had the most likes, shares, and views at 3K reactions, 37K shares, and 15K views. The second placer was the entry of Zaldy B. Barsaga from Brgy. Binatayan, Malilipot Albay followed by the entry of Mary Joy L. Rambuyong, from Pilar, Sorsogon. We hope that through the vlog from 8 LGUs, viewers had seen the different facets of stunting.
The champion of the 7- Day post your Diet Challenge by a pregnant woman was Naga City’s official entry, with an average score of 93.25% submitted by Jan Nelvie C. Taroma from Barangay Bagumbayan Sur. Camarines Norte’s official entry done by Annaliza Morte from Barangay San Rafael, Jose Panganiban came out as 2nd placer followed by Masbate City’s entry by Rose Marie Espiñas from Barangay Pating as the 3rd placer. This contest promoted proper nutrition during pregnancy as this is the 1st phase of the first 1000 days of the development of the child.
The Closing Remarks was delivered by Mr. Florentino D. Ubalde, Jr., Agriculturist Chief II of DA RFU V on behalf of RED Rodel P. Tornilla. Mr. Ubalde posed a challenge to LGUs and urged for the collective vision of having taller Filipino children through multi groups participation. He briefly described DA’s ALPAS Program “Ahon Lahat Pagkain Sapat kontra COVID-19” or “Plant, plant, plant program” with the gulayan as paaralan and family-based food production approaches backyard and urban gardening as its frontrunners. In ending, he said that “through convergence effort, we can fight malnutrition, we can fight stunting and we can fight COVID-19.”
This nutrition month celebration may be different this year, but it proved that social media can equally make an advocacy campaign successful to raise awareness on stunting among the netizens.
Many barangays, municipalities, cities, and provinces had their own unique way of celebrating Nutrition Month this year some of which were virtual cook fest in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, Nutri-cooking and recipe contest using Manna Pack Rice as the main ingredient in Tabaco City and Masbate City. In Ligao City a campaign with private establishments through radio advertisements of the Nutrition Month plugs was played in their outlets. Additionally, Nutri-TIKTOK challenge was also conducted to promote nutrition and prevent stunting. Due to the CORONA-19 Pandemic, many felt that it was more important to campaign for better nutrition to strengthen the immune system of children and adults alike. After all, food and nutrition are the first line of defense against this virulent virus, together with social distancing, frequent washing of hands, wearing of face masks and face shields, and other health protocols. Everyone looks forward to 2021 where we all hope to celebrate Nutrition month with more face to face interactions and involving more people. NNC extends its appreciation to all LGUs, NGAs, NGOs, and groups who successfully mounted a strong advocacy campaign and joined the 2020 July Nutrition Month celebration, amidst the pandemic. (KTS, MCV, ARR, NNC RO V).