Nutrition officers draw 3-year action priorities
Local Nutrition Officers converged on March 29-30, 2022 at the Highlander Hotel and Resort in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, for a workshop on Nueva Vizcaya’s 2023-2025 Provincial Nutrition Action Plan (PNAP) and Municipal Nutrition Action Plans (MNAPs), alongside resource persons from the Region 02 Office of the National Nutrition Council (NNC-R02) in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, headed by Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Maria Gisela M. Lonzaga.
Also providing some planning inputs were technical staff from the finance and other concerned offices of the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya.
Participating in the planning workshop, coordinated by Provincial Nutrition Officer Luzviminda P. Ragpa under the direction of Dr. Edwin B. Galapon, Chief of the Provincial Integrated Health Office (PIHO) and concurrent Provincial Nutrition Action Officer (PNAO), were Nutrition Officers from the fifteen component municipalities of the province
The review of the said plans is anchored on the pronouncements of the NNC, to wit: “The Philippines has been experiencing the double burden of malnutrition, a condition in the body caused by an imbalance in, or lack or excess of one or more of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function. While both Undernutrition and Overnutrition are largely prevalent among young children and women, the latter is more so among adults. Undernutrition has far-reaching consequences on child growth and development, and their capacity to learn and become economically productive and socially active adults. Overnutrition, on the other hand, has been established as one of the risk factors for developing non-communicable diseases. It is, therefore, imperative to effectively address both conditions with the goal of reducing or eliminating their adverse impacts on national development. The formulation of local nutrition plans and their integration into the local development plans and annual investment plans will help ensure that nutrition action at the local level is strategic and purposive.”
The achieve those ends, the NNC issued Guidelines on Local Nutrition Planning that “define processes and tools which will facilitate the formulation and review of a provincial, city and municipal nutrition action plan that is harmonized with national and local development planning, and help local nutrition committees in formulating and reviewing their nutrition action plans that would address the nutritional problems in their respective localities.”
According to PNO Ragpa, the workshop is consistent with the National Nutrition Council (NNC) guidelines and was designed to achieve the following objectives: to be aware of the trends in nutritional status over the three-year period, per municipality, province, and region; to identify good practices and innovations in nutrition program management for replication and scaling up; to look into the adjustments made by LGUs in the implementation of local nutrition programs consistent with the updated Medium-Term Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (MTPAN); to tackle 2022 plan implementation issues and concerns that are in need of policy and programmatic updating; and to identify objectives, priority actions, priority groups, and enabling mechanisms for the PNAP and MNAPs of the province’s fifteen component LGUs.
Stressing the importance and urgency of the two-day activity, PNO Ragpa said, “The task of Nutrition Officers and the local governments, in general, has become more challenging in view of the full devolution of basic services and facilities, including those pertaining to health and nutrition, from the national government to local government units (LGUs) which begins this year.”
The programs, projects, and activities of the PIHO’s Nutrition Division fall under the (H)ealth Services component of the PRAYERS N FAITH platform of governance under the administration of Governor Carlos M. Padilla, who also serves as Chairman of the Provincial Nutrition Committee.