World Suicide 2022The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) founded World Suicide Prevention Day in 2003. The month of September is dedicated to changing attitudes, spreading hopefulness, and disseminating critical information to those who have been affected by suicide under the theme "Creating Hope Through Action" in 2022.

By definition, suicide is the act of taking one's own life. It is sometimes employed to escape hardship or suffering (Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, 2012). Globally, an estimated 703,000 people commit suicide each year. According to the World Health Organization (n.d.), there has been a considerable increase in suicide-related contacts to mental health clinics across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One approach that is currently being investigated is the role of nutrition in mental health. According to Dr. Badgett (n.d.), a diet high in processed foods, refined grains, and soft drinks and low in fresh fruits and vegetables, increases depression risk and has fewer positive effects on physical and mental health.

Sulfelix Rosario 2022One of the contenders for 2022 Search for Caraga Regional Outstanding City/Municipal Nutrition Action Officer is the 9-year Municipal Nutrition Action Officer (MNAO) of the Municipality of Rosario, Ms. Fe Vergara Sulfelix.

The 47-year old MNAO was evaluated by the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET) on 6 September 2022 at the RHU Building of the Municipality of Rosario, Agusan del Sur. Part of the evaluation process were validation of documents and a panel interview.

MNAO Sulfelix previously worked at the Barangay Office of Barangay Wasian, Rosario as Barangay Secretary for ten (10) consecutive years before taking the board and became a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian.

Upon receiving the professional license, she applied as Municipal Nutrition Action Officer and was appointed on August 2013.

In her sphere of being the MNAO, she coordinated and provided a strong structure of Municipal Nutrition Committee with 19 active members. As the secretariat of the committee, she initiates the MNC meetings, prepares and presents the agenda to the MNC Chairperson, acts as the focal person of Dietary Supplementation Program (DSP) funded by the municipal government, and provides technical assistance to the sixteen (16) Barangay Nutrition Scholars from eleven (11) barangays of the municipality.

PNAO Tejano Sept16Butuan City- On September 14, 2022, the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET) visited the Province of Agusan del Norte to conduct the Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implementation Protocol (MELLPI Pro) of the provincial government and its Local Nutrition Focal Persons (LNFP) at the PSWD Conference Hall, Provincial Capitol, Butuan City.

One of the contenders for the Caraga Regional Outstanding Provincial Nutrition Action Officer, Dr. Silver Joy B. Tejano of Agusan del Norte shares her experiences as a public servant during the conduct of the Interview for LNFP. Dr. Tejano answers the interview heartily. She remarks on the unwavering support of the provincial government to ensure that social and nutrition related programs and activities are successfully implemented and able to reach all the Agusanons without prejudice.

She also cited that working together, having a harmonious relationship within the office, in the community and even at home, and open communication will aid in the attainment of goals. The goals include helping the community, improving the health and nutritional status of Agusanons especially of children, and contributing to the betterment of all.

LaniebelleAngchangco ADS2022On the 7th of September 2022, the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET) visited the Provincial Nutrition Action Officer (PNAO) of the Province Agusan del Sur, Ms. Laniebelle T. Angchangco at the Provincial Nutrition Office, Agusan del Sur.

The visit aims to monitor and evaluate the performance of the provincial government and the nutrition focal person in the local level plan implementation for nutrition.

Prior to her career as the PNAO of Agusan del Sur, she became a part of the Bureau of Forestry. But she felt that she had to be in the community, working with people and for the people. With this urge in her heart, after six months, she applied and worked as the Municipal Nutrition Action Officer of the Municipality of San Luis, Agusan del Sur for two years.

On 15 June 1986, she was given an item in the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur as Nutrition Officer III and got married at the same year. For five years, she was the District Nutrition Program Coordinator of the province that focuses on the Barangay Nutrition Scholars. On 2012, she became the Provincial Nutrition Officer III and Provincial Nutrition Action Officer designate.

NEDA Consultation 09.09.22BUTUAN CITY - As member agency of the Social Development Committee (SDC) of the Caraga Regional Development Council (RDC), the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Caraga participated in the Social Sector Stakeholders' Consultation as part of the preparation process in the formulation of the Caraga Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 organized by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga on September 09, 2022 at Almont Hotel and Inland Resort, this city. DMOII Raphael P. Ochavo represented the NNC Caraga together with BNS Regional Federation President Ms. Mary Lomoljo, Surigao City Nutrition Program Coordinator Ms. Gerivy Lipio and Butuan City Nutrition Program Coordinator Ms. Marissa Quilondrino. 

NEDA Caraga Regional Director Priscilla R. Sonido, CESO III, led the 1-day consultation with discussing the rationale of the activity highlighting the key role of the member agencies and stakeholders in the formulation of the Caraga RDP 2023-2028. She added that the stakeholders' consultation is part of the situational analysis, an initial step in the preparation process for the RDP, to be followed by the formulation of the strategic framework, identification of the major programs, projects, and activities (PPAs) and the finalization of the RDP 2023-2028.

As one of the highlights of the activity, NEDA Caraga Supervising Economic Development Specialist Ms. Gladys Giberson presented the Social Sector Situationer (as of 2021), wherein she discussed the (1) Macroeconomic Performance (2) Sectoral Performance and (3) Headline Macroeconomic Targets. In the report, Caraga's poverty incidence increased to 33.2% in 2021 as compared to 30.5% in 2020, the second highest incidence among Mindanao regions. In the strategic framework for Pagbabago  (health and nutrition), 4 out of 14 major target indicators were achieved, wherein out of the 4 target indicators achieved, 3 indicators are in the nutrition sector. The nutrition situation showed a steady decline of prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight among 0-59 months old children but noted that there is an increase in magnitude. 

Tiniwisan BNS Sept 2022Butuan City- Maria Elisa B. Mata, a 49-year-old BNS, is one of the contenders in this year's Search for the Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar in Caraga Region.

On 2 September 2022, the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET) visited BNS Mata at Barangay Tiniwisan for an interview, desk assessment, and document validation.

BNS Mata has been appointed since year 2000 and has received various awards and made various livelihood projects (water lily slippers, fabric softeners, and banana chips). All proceeds from these projects were shared 10 % with pregnant and lactating mothers and 10% for young malnourished children in the barangay.

With the help of the Barangay Nutrition Committee through its Chairperson, Hon. Alma Tagalog, the nurses, barangay health workers (BHWs), Rural Improvement Clubs (RICs) and BNC members, she was able to do her best to serve the barangay.