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Working together to end malnutrition

Article 24 of the United Nations RIghts of a Child states that children have the right to the best health care possible, clean water to drink, healthy food and a clean and safe environment to live in, and that all adults and children should have information about how to stay safe and healthy.

Why is child nutrition important? Nutrition is important at every age. Children need proper nutrients to grow up and stay healthy and strong. Nutrition for children can also help establish a foundation for healthy eating habits and nutritional knowledge that your child can apply throughout life.

During the 2021 Gawad Parangal sa Nutrisyon, former Mandaluyong City mayor and current Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairperson Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr. shares how malnutrition significantly decreased by giving importance to nutrition programs in Mandaluyong City.

Abalos also reminded the Local Government Units (LGUs) that the children are their only hope for the future, therefore, they must intervene by making nutrition a top priority. 

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr.

The Gawad Parangal sa Nutrisyon is a regional nutrition awarding ceremony, spearheaded by the National Nutrition Council (NNC), to recognize the exemplary performance of LGUs and outstanding local nutrition focal points (BNSs, City/Municipal Nutrition Action Officers, and City/Municipal Nutrition Program Coordinators) in nutrition program management and delivery of nutrition services. In the National Capital Region (NCR), it was held on December 7 at the Heritage Hotel Manila.

NNC-National Capital Region’s Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Milagros Elisa V. Federizo opens the ceremony by acknowledging the continued effort of the LGUs in NCR in implementing the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) based nutrition programs despite the threat of COVID-19.

She stated that this awarding ceremony should serve as an inspiration to everyone to make the health and nutrition of every Filipino family always a priority whether there is a pandemic or not.

NCR Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Milagros Elisa V. Federizo

Additionally, RNPC Federizo emphasized that in order to win the war against malnutrition, nutrition programs should be well-planned, adequately budgeted, and efficiently and effectively implemented by the local nutrition committees.

Malnutrition is an impediment to development which is why we need to continue our fight against hunger and malnutrition amidst the pandemic. Let us continue to work together to make the new normal a better one through good nutrition,” she said.

During the event, Muntinlupa City received the Green Banner Seal of Compliance Award in appreciation of its outstanding nutrition initiatives. Muntinlupa is the only city in NCR to receive the Green Banner Award this year.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi leads other local officials in receiving the Green Banner Seal of Compliance Award

Other awards were also given to the following: Regional Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar - BNS Alice A. Tanabe/Muntinlupa City, Regional Outstanding Local Nutrition Program Coordinator of the Year - CNPC Marissa C. Almario/Pasig City, Regional Outstanding Nutrition Action Officer of the Year - CNAO Chef Melissa Grace Sison-Oreta/Malabon City.

Every year, MELLPI is used to evaluate and monitor the performance of LGUs in implementing local nutrition programs.

It was conducted from June 15 to September 6, 2021 by an inter-agency Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET).

Additionally, the performance of their nutrition action officer, outstanding city/municipal nutrition program coordinator, and barangay nutrition scholar (BNS) were also evaluated.

Through the annual event, local chief executives, especially the Punong Barangays and the Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons are encouraged to integrate, strengthen, and sustain the NNC's nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs in their local policies and plans. (PIA-NCR)

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Gelaine Louise Gutierrez

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