NNC Caraga First Virtual Mac October 2020
42 LGUs from the 5 provinces of Caraga Region attended the first virtual MAC (Mentoring, Assisting and Coaching) Project facilitated by the National Nutrition Council Caraga last October 19, 2020 via Google Meet. The virtual MAC is a provision of technical assistance regional project that aims to assist, and coach the P/C/M Nutrition Action Officers and D/C Nutrition Program Coordinators of Caraga Region to effectively implement the various nutrition programs in their respective LGUs. Spearheaded by OIC-Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon, together with the technical staff of NNC Caraga, updates were presented on the use of the eOPT with MUAC components. The participants were also refreshed on the proper use of MUAC as well as the guidelines on the proper storage and use of both MUAC for children and adults. The implementation of the Dietary Supplementation Program for Nutritionally at-risk pregnant women and children was also discusssed. 

The role of Local Nutrition Action Officers and District Nutrition Program Coordinators are critical in carrying out their coordinative functions in the different phases of local nutrition program management specifically on nutrition assessment, local nutrition planning, nutrition program implementation, nutrition advocacies, resource generation activities and nutrition monitoring and evaluation, among others. Regular capacity building is needed to guide their efforts along nutrition program implementation. 

MAC has been and will always be part of the regular program of the NNC Caraga to further capacitate all nutrition and health workers in order to facilitate effective implementation of the nutrition programs in their respective LGUs.

Nutrition Action Officers, Data CollecEWS6tors, Brgy. Nutrition Scholars, and Early Warning System Core Team from the municipalities of San Francisco and Talacogon in the Province of Agusan del Sur attended the virtual refresher on Local Nutrition Early Warning System for Food and Nutrition Security last Oct. 13, 2020 facilitated by the National Nutrition Council Caraga. OIC-NPC Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon welcomed the participants and stressed the importance of EWS toward achieving food and nutrition security thru early warning information to counter any threat either natural or human induced that may affect the ability of communities and households to obtain sufficient food. The objective of the refresher course is to re-orient the data collectors and the EWS Core Team on the overview and mechanics of EWS-FNS program implementation, which plays a vital role on food and nutrition security thru establishing an information system. This will also prepare the EWS areas for the resumption of data collection in their respective sentinel barangays this quarter to determine the impact of COVID-19 in food and nutrition security and come up with a local food and nutrition security plan for sustainability.

Further, the EWS processes were discussed which includes key steps in data collection, analysis and interpretation as well as the importance of communicating and disseminating the data and information for nutrition program planning and decision making for food and nutrition security along its dimension on availability, accessibility, utilization and stability.

NOII Leah Vina Vargas also presented the general guidelines on the conduct of household interviews to guide the data collectors on the complete and accurate collection of data.

Agusan del Sur PNAO Laniebelle Angchangco gave her closing statement by encouraging all data collectors and NAOs to stand firm on their duty as we continue to experience the damaging effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the implementation of health and nutrition programs.

NNC Caraga is sincerely grateful to the Municipalities of San Francisco and Talacogon in the Province of Agusan del Sur, especially the Municipal Nutrition Action Officers Ms. Mamerlyn Bugaoan of San Francisco and Mr. Eric Jay Obeñita of Talacogon and all the barangay data collectors, BNSs and the rest of the stakeholders who have been instrumental in the continuous implementation of the EWS-FNS in their respective localities.

Author: NOI Raphael P. Ochavo, RN

1st Caraga Regional Bantay Asin Task Force MeetingNNC Caraga conducted the first Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (RBATF) Virtual Meeting last September 22, 2020 via Google Meet. Discussions include the updates on regional salt monitoring and list of salt distributors and retailers in the region, updates on ASIN monitoring guidelines and checklist, updates on the WYD machine and reagents, and the need to organize and operationalize the Local Bantay Asin Task Force at different administrative level.

Ms. Richel Prado, the representative of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Caraga shared about the agency’s regular market surveillance including the monitoring of salts sold in the local supermarkets and inspection of availability of License to Operate (LTO) permit among salt distributors and retailers in the region. Results of the salt samples collected was also presented.

Representatives from Salinas Foods, Incorporated also joined in the meeting and oriented the participants about the WYD machine and reagents, they also addressed queries from the participants on how to acquire and procure the WYD machine. Further, they also give emphasis that training on the use of the WYD machine will be included in the package.

OIC – Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Retsebeth M. Laquihon stressed the importance of strengthening the implementation of RA 8172 or “An Act Promoting Salt Iodization Nationwide and For Other Purposes” by establishing a functional monitoring mechanism through the Bantay Asin Task Force to ensure that only adequately iodized salt is available in the market, food establishments and households. Further, she enjoined the local government units through the nutrition action officers and the technical working group to support the campaign and implementation of salt iodization program in the region to fight the battle against micronutrient deficiencies particularly Iodine Deficiency Disorder that delays mental development and physical growth of children.

The participants was also encouraged to attend during the next RBATF XIII Meeting on the 4th quarter for the formulation of the Regional Salt Iodization Plan for CY 2021 highlighting the expansion of RBATF membership; advocacy campaigns, information dissemination and the monitoring and evaluation component.

#BantayAsinTaskForce #NNCCaraga

Caraga RDC-SDC Meeting September 2020September 18, 2020, Caraga Region. The Social Development Committee chaired by Mayor Kirk Asis of Bayugan City conducted its 3rd quarter teleconference meeting which was attended by the national line agencies and local government units in the region.
One of the agenda of the meeting is the proposed membership of NNC Caraga to the Regional Development Council -Social Development Committee (RDC-SDC). OIC-Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Retsebeth M. Laquihon presented the brief background, structure, functions and mandates of the office and highlighted the accomplishments of NNC Caraga in the operationalization of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) in the region.
DOH XIII Director Jose R. Llacuna Jr., chairperson of the Regional Nutrition Committee stressed the need for NNC to become a regular RDC-SDC member considering the role of nutrition in human development.
Director Uy reiterated the significant role of NNC in the improvement of the nutrition situation in Caraga region.
RDC-SDC members unanimously approved the membership of NNC. A motion was moved by Attorney Bonifacio Uy, Regional Director of NEDA XIII and duly seconded, respectively.

National Nutrition Council Caraga Turnover Ceremony

Outgoing Regional Nutrition Council Coordinator and DOH Caraga Director, Jose R. Llacuna Jr., welcomed the new OIC Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator XIII, Retsebeth M. Laquihon, during this NNC CARAGA turnover ceremony held at DOH CHD Regional Office XIII, Butuan City, at 10 AM on September 2, 2020.

This turnover ceremony remarks a milestone to NNC CARAGA, for it has bloomed and transformed over the past years. On its quest as the new OIC Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator, Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon said that the challenge that she faces now is to make NNC XIII better, innovative and sustainable as what RD Jose R. Llacuna Jr.’s legacy was embedded in institutionalizing nutrition program. She also thanked RD Llacuna for the untiring and continuous support that he had shown to NNC XIII for it has motivated NNC to push harder and become better.

The turnover ceremony ended up with the transition of duties and responsibilities to Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon escorted by RD Llacuna, then a wine toasting as a symbol of celebration.



Radyo Kaagapay Station Manager Elizabeth Badajos receiving the IEC materials from NNC Caraga.September 18, 2020 Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. NNC Caraga conducted Nutriskwela Community Radio monitoring of Radyo Kaagapay DXCN 107.3  to ensure continuous operation of the Nutriskwela Community Radio in Sibagat, ADS. Radyo Kaagapay Station Manager Ms. Elizabeth Badajos together with MNO staff Ms. Rovelyn Montino and Radio Station Technician Mr. Nissan Justo shared with the NNC monitoring team their station's updates on health and nutrition programs and the boost on COVID-19 updates on-air. They also highlighted their approved plan on moving to a new radio station building just within the municipal complex. They also shared the recent agreement made between Radyo Kaagapay and Department of Education for the new teaching modality for the benefit of the students --- a good opportunity for nutrition and health advocacy for the youth. The monitoring team also delivered IEC materials for the use of the station on their nutrition advocacies, particularly on the First 1000 Days Program. 

Nutriskwela Community Radio - Radyo Kaagapay DXCN 107.3  was established in January 29, 2010, they celebrated their 10th Founding Anniversary this year. NNC Caraga sincerely thanks the LGU Sibagat headed by the Mayor Maria Loza Evangelista, Municipal Administrator Dr. Thelma Lamanilao, the officers and members of the Community Radio Council and program broadcasters for the unending support to the nutrition advocacy.