mahaplag LNPMAHAPLAG, Leyte -- The local government unit (LGU) here, headed by Mayor Daisy Abuyabor Lleve, finally formalized the organization of its Municipal Nutrition Committee (MNC) and drafted a Municipal Nutrition Action Plan (MNAP) operational for three years, for approval of its Sanguniang Bayan (SB). Likewise, the LGU through the MNC pledged to maximise effort to have this MNAP included in the town’s Annual Investment Plan (AIP).

This was the outcome of the “Local Nutrition Planning Workshop”, initiated by National Nutrition Council - Region 8 in this locality from 10-13 October, this year.
The 4-day event was attended by some 22 participants and among them are: the town local chief executive, SB chair on Health, Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) president from the component villages, and the town’s Municipal Nutrition Action Officer (MNAO).
Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo Jr., NNC-8 Regional Nutrition Program coordinator, talked on Formulating the Operational Plan and Formulating the Annual Investment Plan; Rina Ladrera, NNC Nutrition Officer II, the Overview of Nutrition Program Management and Situational Analysis of the Municipality; and Shallou D. Pindos, ECCD F1K coordinator, Expectation Setting and Overview of the Workshop.
The municipality of Mahaplag is one of the three towns and one city in Eastern Visayas that is covered by the Accelerated and Sustainable Anti-Poverty Program (ASAPP) of the central government. This program is being piloted in ten provinces nationwide, with record highest number of poor families.
Health and nutrition is only one of the components of ASAPP intervention to accelerate poverty reduction in the pre-identified localities. On nutrition, the intervention package (IP) activated for ASAPP areas is the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) for First 1000 Days.
ECCD-IP for First 1000 Days, consonant with the Early Years Act (RA 10410), covers the full range of development program for the holistic needs of young children--including health, nutrition, early education, and social services components.
Nutrition authorities are now prioritizing focus on age-group First 1000 Days of Life, as studies confirm this is the “golden window of opportunity” for the child’s growth and development. The period includes the time of conception (during pregnancy), until the baby is born and two years of age, it was gathered.
To cap the four-day activity here, Mayor Lleve and Dr. Dotollo signed a “partnership” memorandum of agreement (MOA), for the LGU and NNC-8 respectively, for the implementation of the program in the locality--which includes planning, monitoring and evaluation, and coordinating the local nutrition action plan to address the nutrition situation here. (Jack C. Gadaingan)