SOCCSKSARGEN—The Regional Nutrition Cluster of SOCCSKSARGEN convened for an emergency meeting via Zoom Videoconference held on December 28, 2021.   Attended by 21 representatives from various agencies (NNC, DOH, DILG, DSWD, DBM, DOST, DOLE, NCIP, DENR, Save the Children, PopCom and OCD), the meeting was conducted to discuss response efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette's damage. Typhoon Odette wreaked havoc on the Philippine Archipelago last December 16, 2021, particularly in Regions 4B, VI, VII, VIII, X, and CARAGA.

BNSs of Gen. Santos City undergo orientation on E OPT tool

Operation Timbang Plus (OPT Plus) is a mass measurement of preschool children aged 0-59 months old in a community, it is conducted annually particularly within the first quarter, by the OPT Plus team. The OPT determines the prevalence of malnutrition at the barangay level for assessment, planning and monitoring by the Barangay Nutrition Committee. Further, it identifies and quantifies underweight, stunted, wasted, and overweight preschoolers in need of immediate assistance; to help in prioritizing of children, families, and communities; to provide basis for monitoring and evaluating effectiveness of nutrition interventions and programs.

The Local Government Unit of General Santos City through the City Nutrition Office together with National Nutrition Council (NNC) XII conducted an orientation on Operation Timbang Plus to 15 Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS), four (4) Barangay Health Aides (BHA) and three (3) Barangay Nutrition Committee (BNC) encoder at Inasal de Cebu, General Santos City on December 13, 2021.

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NNC SOCCSKSARGEN successfully conducted the 2021 Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony last December 9, 2021, at The Farm @ Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City, South Cotabato through face to face and was streamed via Zoom Videoconference and Facebook Live.

The awarding ceremony recognized outstanding Local Government Units, Outstanding Local Nutrition Workers, and Barangay Nutrition Scholars with exemplary performance in the implementation, management, coordination of the local nutrition programs and recognized as well the Regional and Local Nutrition Stakeholders in promoting good nutrition and supporting the regional nutrition efforts.

Among the awards given is the White Heron Award to Local Government Units that signifies determination in its efforts to reduce malnutrition rates and has contributed to the highest percent change reduction in the prevalence of stunting and wasting among children aged 0–59 months from 2019–2021 through the efficient and effective implementation of the nutrition program.

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The Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022 as the country’s framework for nutrition action, serves as a guide for various stakeholders from national government agencies, local government agencies, non-government agencies, development partners and academia. It defines the national targets for eliminating or reducing the various nutritional problems affecting the vulnerable age groups.

NNC XII conducted the Regional Program Implementation Review last November 29, 2021 at The Farm @ Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City, South Cotabato to assess the extent to which nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions and targets based on the results framework were undertaken, reached, and the expected outcomes realized. The activity was attended by a total of 19 participants both online and face to face coming from different agencies and offices to wit: NEDA XII, NCIP XII, DepEd XII, DBM XII, DSWD XII, DOST XII, DENR XII, Save the Children Philippines, South Cotabato Province, Koronadal City and Kidapawan City.

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The National Nutrition Council (NNC) XII in partnership with the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET) members recognize Ms. Genalyn C. Fernando, Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) of Brgy. Malibatuan, Arakan Cotabato Province as 2019 Outstanding BNS in the Region during the Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony (RNAC) last December 9, 2021, at the Farm @ Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City.

In the year 2014, Ms. Genalyn Fernando began her journey as BNS at Brgy. Malibatuan. She excelled in her roles and functions as BNS for the past seven years without asking anything in return. Her commitment in eradicating malnutrition, as well as her compassion for others, motivates her to strive even more.  Moreover, as one of the frontline responders during the pandemic, she has faced numerous hurdles, but this only motivates her to provide the best possible care to the community.

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COTABATO PROVINCEThe Local Government Unit of Cotabato Province thru the initiative of the Provincial Nutrition Committee and Integrated Provincial Health Office conducted year end PPAN 2021 review held on December 20, 2021 at the Provincial Capitol Gymnasium, Amas, Kidapawan City.

The activity was attended by Barangay Nutrition Scholars all over the province with their respective Nutrition Action Officers and Local Nutrition Program Coordinators. Also present were Provincial Health Officer Dr. Eva C. Rabaya, Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Ely Nebrija, District Nutrition Program Coordinator Jasmine Regaspi and the Province’s Local Chief Executive, Governor Nancy A. Catamco who expressed her utmost gratitude to all BNSs being the grassroots in ensuring the delivery of basic health and nutrition services in the province. Likewise, the Honorable Governor thanked all the Local Nutrition Workers for their unflinching commitment in rendering service in providing good nutrition despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. The LGU had also made the activity a venue in releasing the BNS honorarium from the months of July to November 2021 distributed to about 730 BNSs in the province.