Department of Agrarian DAR Orients ARBOs On Tutok Kainan The Dietary Supplementation Program For Pregnant WomenReform, Legazpi City - In partnership with the National Nutrition Council, DARPO Albay conducted a one-day orientation program of selected ARBO’s who will participate in the Dietary Supplementation Program for Pregnant Women in the province of Albay expected to run anytime from March to May 2021.

Addressing the participants of the activity, OIC-PARPO II Engr. Renato C. Bequillo emphasized that lack of nutrition among children because of poverty has been recognized as one of the social illnesses of the country, thus, catapulting the Philippines in the 9th rank of the global stunting problem.

CARPO Lerma Dino of DAR Regional Office 5 complimented DARPO Albay as well as the ten ARBOs who will play a major role in the execution of the program. According to CARPO Dino, “DAR’s only vision is to help its beneficiaries sustain their means of livelihood.” 

Barangay Nutrition Scholars in Bicol receive Calamity Cash AssistanceLegazpi City. The Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs) are community nutrition volunteers who provide nutrition services to our families. This group of volunteers were organized by the National Nutrition Council  per Presidential Decree No. 1569 (1979) which mandated the deployment of at least one (1) BNS in every barangay in the country. The BNSs are task to monitor the nutritional status of children and other nutritionally at-risk groups and link them with nutrition and nutrition-related service providers. PD 1569 also mandated the NNC to administer the program in cooperation with local government units.

The Bicol Region BNS Association, Inc. (BRBNSA, Inc.) was organized in 2013 through the federation of the nutrition volunteers per LGU. The Officers of BRBNSA, Inc. formulated their own Constitution and By-Laws to promote nutrition and uphold the BNS program with support and services being provided to members.

What It Takes for Better Breastfeeding PracticeLegazpi City. Ang mga sanggol ay hindi dapat makaranas ng gutom. Ito ay isang mahalagang mensahe na kailangan tandaan ng mga magulang para sa kalusugan ni Baby. Ang breastfeeding ang pinaka simpleng solusyon dahil hindi na kailangan pang maghanda ng kahit ano, pinakaligtas dahil ito ay masustansiya at walang preservatives, pinakamatipid dahil hindi na ito kailangan bilhin pa, at pinakapraktikal dahil kahit nagtratrabaho ang nanay ay maari pa rin mapasuso ang anak. Subalit, marami pa rin sa mga nanay ang hindi sang-ayon sa kahalagahan ng Eksklusibong pagpasuso sa sanggol. Sa isang pagtitipon ng mga mommy ay aming naitanong ang kanilang mga experiences sa pagpapasuso. At mayroon isang nanay na nagsasabi “nagpundo na akong magpasuso ta wara naman nagluluwas na gatas pagpinipisil ko ang sakuyang dodo” (I stopped breastfeeding because no milk comes out when I press my breast). This is a statement often heard from mothers when topic on breastfeeding is being discussed.

Based on the 2019 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS), breastfeeding practices among Filipino mother declines as the child grows. The trend of exclusive breastfeeding also decreases and is closely associated with the increasing rate of stunting when it reaches the age of 8 months old and above, and this warrants a call for action from everyone. Also shown in the 2019 ENNS result, despite the awareness that breastfeeding is the best nutrition for the little ones, mothers still opt to stop breastfeeding because of misconceptions, beliefs, and lack of support from the family and community.

caramoranBased on 2020 OPT Plus report of Catanduanes, the National Nutrition Council Bicol reported that the municipality of Caramoran finally slid down in its ranking of municipalities with high prevalence of stunting among 0-59 months children. From being on top of the list in 2019 at 29.7%,  it now has the 5th lowest prevalence of stunting at 18.5%. Do you know that 5 years ago. in 2016, its stunting rate among 0-59 months children was a high 46.54%! 

How did Caramoran do it?  This marked improvement was fueled by serious intent of Caramoran to make children’s nutritional wellbeing a priority concern of the local government. Led by its Local Chief Executive and Chair of the Municipal Nutrition Committee of past administration, then by Mayor Agnes Popa to its present Municipal Mayor Glenda V. Aguilar,  its Municipal Nutrition Committee (MNC) persevered to make children’s nutrition concern a top priority. The municipality  allocated  more funds for its nutrition program and activities, and integrated and complemented activities with the other offices and sectors. One  of the activities conducted was nutrition and parenting sessions which were integrated in the activities of the  Health and Social Welfare Offices.   The assistance of the ever-reliable and dependable nutrition frontline workers – the Barangay Nutrition Scholars and Health Workers who continued to care for the children of the municipality- was a plus factor too for its sustained reduction of malnutrition.

Culmination Program 2
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.

Barangay Nutrition Heroes gain support from Local Chief Executive of Camalig AlbayLegazpi City. An American businessman and entrepreneur in the name of James Cash Penney once said, "The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison”. This quote is true for the nutrition workers in our country, for we belong to different units or offices but share one common goal, that is, to alleviate malnutrition in all forms.

In a Facebook post of the municipality of Camalig, Albay on 15 December 2020,  the LGU provided cash assistance and other essentials to fifty-six (56) Barangay Nutrition Scholars  (BNS) through the Gender and Development (GAD) program of the municipality. Each BNS received a substantial amount of cash,  along with Noche Buena package, a sack of milled rice, and a nutrition advocacy shirt.