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SUN orientationZAMBOANGA CITY-- National Nutrition Council Regional Office IX (NNC IX) conducted the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement 3.0 Orientation last September 30, 2021 at Alavar Restaurant, Zamboanga City which was participated physically and virtually by RNAHC members, three (3) provinces and five (5) cities, Southern Philippine Deep Sea Fishing Association- Business sector, from the academe attended by Western Mindanao State University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Pilar College, Southern City College, and Universidad de Zamboanga. And from the civil society organizations were from Kids Who Farm, Zamboanga Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA), I Can Make A Difference incorporated, JCI La Bella, La Hermosa Assembly No. 28 International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, Rotary North, James J. Wilson No. 21, Order of DeMolay, Gen. John Joseph Pershing Priory No. 5, Order of Knighthood and the Amaranth.

The activity highlighted the Regional Nutrition Situation, Rationale and the Roles of SUN networks, Overview of SUN Movement 3.0 strategy, Messages of Commitment from the business sector, civil society organizations and the academe, and recitation of the Pledge of Commitment among the participants.

SUN is a growing movement to save millions of children’s lives, it is a non-precedented collective worldwide commitment to sustenance focusing on to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030.This orientation aims to expand the coverage of SUN networks together with the business sectors, civil society organizations, and academe encouraging their invaluable involvement and to acquire their significant contribution in the alleviation of all forms of malnutrition in Zamboanga Peninsula.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Joshua G. Brillantes, DOH CHD 9 Regional Director and Regional Nutrition Anti-Hunger Committee Chair (RNAHC), warmly greeted the attendees while making a clear and solid statement on the purpose of the activity. “Convening together is just a start; keeping united is progress; but working as one is success… with inclusivity in working together as one community to impact the lives of the people being the greatest and the most valuable resource of the nation and the world… I hope that this occasion can yield a better outcome, maybe not today, not tomorrow but soon in the days to come. Together let us all rise.”, he said.

The SUN Coordinator for the Philippines, Assistant Secretary of Health and National Nutrition Council Executive Director Azucena M. Dayanghirang, MD, MCH, CESO III, also graced the event with her virtual presence. She said in her inspirational message, “We must work in unity that demands complete trust, collaboration alignment, integration of actions and full commitment to implement convergent actions along with PPAN. And encouraged everyone to help fight malnutrition despite this pandemic, let this not stop us from pushing through our advocacies and plans in fighting all forms of malnutrition”.

Ms. Nimfa D. Ekong, NNC IX Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator (RNPC), presented the rationale and the roles of the SUN Networks to inspire everyone to work together in the elimination of all forms of malnutrition because this is not a one-man job but needs a collective-efforts from the government and private stakeholders. She also encouraged all participants to be one of the spoons advocating good nutrition among Filipinos beginning in the first 1000 days of life!

NNC IX Nutrition Officer I Ms. Zhalimar A. Jakaria-Patulada presented the Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Nutrition Situation wherein she stated that malnutrition is a double burden characterized by the coexistence of undernutrition along with overweight and obesity, or diet-related non-communicable diseases, within individuals, households and populations, and across the life-course. According to the data shown, Dipolog City has the lowest prevalence in all 3 indicators (Stunded, wasted and underweight). And so, we encourage other LGUs to do the same. Lastly, NO III Ms. April Jasmine May C. Ducusin, OIC- NNC Nutrition Policy and Planning Division, presented the overview of the SUN 3.0 strategy that is committed towards effective nutrition action and leaving no one behind. It ensures to strengthen partnerships to achieve greater impact on nutrition through food systems, health systems, social protection systems and actions by the private sector. 

Presided by RNPC Ekong, the activity ended successfully with the presence of 105 participants from various sectors and formally concluded with a Closing Message delivered virtually by Asst. Regional Director Mr. Arnel F. Gudio from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) - Region IX. He said that eliminating malnutrition is indeed a collaborative effort of all the stakeholders, the government, the academe, the civil society organization, and private organizations. With all the members working together, the 2030 malnutrition vision is not a distant future and that the DILG is in full support in this campaign in becoming a region-free of malnutrition. With that he ended his message with a quote that says “There is strength in numbers and with our concerted efforts to this course we may achieve the balance and healthy environment for our children”.

With this, the National Nutrition Council Region IX was glad and looking forward to working together with the different business sectors, civil society organizations and the academe and that we guarantee them that this is not the end but rather the beginning of our partnership to stop malnutrition in the region. And let me reiterate our call to action, “Let us all work together to eliminate all forms of malnutrition, be one of the spoons to advocate for good nutrition among Filipinos beginning in the first 1000 days of life!” Let this be our goal to Engage, Inspire and Invest for a better future and better Philippines!