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lgu mob1Recognizing the indispensable role of Local Government Units (LGUs) in combatting malnutrition in Eastern Visayas, the National Nutrition Council Region VIII (NNC VIII) conducted two batches of LGU Mobilization Workshops with the purpose of enhancing its Local Nutrition Action Plans (LNAPs) at Ace Francis Hotel in Tacloban City on November 27-30, 2017 and December 13-15, 2017 respectively and was attended in by participants from three (3) provinces, five (5) cities, and five (5) municipalities in  the region.

The LNAP provides the framework for addressing nutrition issues in the LGUs sequentially to develop strong and quality human capital that will propel socio-economic transformation. The goal of this plan is to improve the nutrition status of all of its constituents with emphasis on women of reproductive age, infants and young children. It is the local version of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN), the Philippines’ directional framework for nutrition improvement.

“Local Government Units is our important partner in addressing our region's high prevalence of malnutrition,” says Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr., the Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator (RNPC) of NNC VIII in his discussion about PPAN 2017-2022. RNPC Dotollo placed emphasis on the role of LGUs commitment and what chunk of the targets they will “bite” under the Implementation Plan, 2017-2022. After they had a “chunk bite”, LGUs will outline the things that should be done to implement the program to establish targets and their corresponding accountabilities through its LNAP. Representatives of national government agencies such as DOH, DA, and DSWD also presented their agency’s commitment to PPAN 2017-2022 and how this commitment in the forms of programs, projects and activities will benefit the LGUs in achieving its LNAP goals and targets.

After the presentation of government agencies on their commitments to PPAN 2017-2022, the workshop proper commences. The workshop was a piece-meal process in which the ultimate output is the LNAP of participating LGUs. It started with LGUs creating Problem Trees to provide a local situation of their nutrition. Ms. Jam M. Colas, Division Chief (DRD) and Ms. Meliza Y. Bacolbas, Senior Economic Development Specialist (Sr. EDS) from NEDA took over the facilitation of the succeeding workshops starting from Goals and Objectives Setting, next was the workshop on their Work and Operational Plans that was succeeded by a workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), subsequently followed by Annual Investment Planning (AIP) and crafting Re-Entry Plans which will serve as timeline for the finalization and adoption of their LNAP by their local Sanggunian Panlalawaigan/Bayan.

The final draft of the LNAPs made by the participating LGUs is a three-year plan which will span from 2018 to 2020. It is expected that participants will present the final draft of their respective LNAPs to their Local Nutrition Council for adoption and subsequently seek the approval of their local legislature for inclusion in the annual budget appropriation and crafting of policies relevant to the successful implementation of the LNAPs in their locality.
The mobilization of LGUs aims to contribute to the accelerated improvement in the nutrition situation in LGUs covered through improved and effective nutrition program management.  (Leo Christian V. Lauzon, RDC VIII)