Data from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) revealed that malnutrition kills approximately 95 children in the Philippines every day.
Also, due to malnutrition, some 27 out of every 1,000 Filipino children die before the age of five.
Moreover, at least one-third of Filipino children are stunted or underdeveloped for their age due to the lack of nutrition.
After the age of two, stunting can be severe, incurable, and even deadly.
In addition to high rates of stunting and newborn deaths, low regular vaccination coverage and a lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities threaten children's survival and development in the Philippines.
The country indeed faces a big challenge in mitigating malnutrition that has remained unchanged for almost thirty years.
However, the National and Local Governments, together with various organizations, have been steadily working hand-in-hand in prioritizing nutrition because it all starts with small steps that will lead to a significant impact.
The Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implementation (MELLPI) Pro of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) ensures the effectiveness of program outreach, funding allocation and expenditure, and policies issued by cities and municipalities in the country.
The MELLPI Pro gives importance to proper documentation as it is evidence-based. It also doesn’t only recognize good practices and outstanding local nutrition focal points, but it addresses gaps and challenges a city or municipality can improve as well. By focusing on even the smallest steps, one can learn more about what works and what doesn't—then doing more of what works could snowball, creating a chain reaction of new actions.
The MELLPI Pro was conducted from July to August 2022 in the National Capital Region (NCR). It’s an eye-opener to be part of the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET) and experience the monitoring and evaluating of a city or municipality's efforts to mitigate malnutrition in their communities. Meeting the local nutrition focal points, such as the Local Chief Executives, Nutrition Action Officers, Local Nutrition Program Coordinators, and Barangay Nutrition Scholar in NCR, inspired RNET members because these individuals work tirelessly to ensure the best possible nutrition services are provided to their constituents.
Outstanding Local Government Units (LGUs) with remarkable performance and good practices in nutrition program management and implementation, as well as local nutrition focal points that excelled in 2021, is recognized at the Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony (RNAC). The RNAC is also an opportunity to express gratitude to regional and local nutrition networks for their assistance to NNC-NCR.
Through the dedication and hard work of nutrition workers, It’s reassuring that the future of the next generation is in good hands. Their efforts, no matter how big or small, in the barangay to the city level contribute to the bigger picture of helping every Filipino family have a quality of life.
Summary of awards for the 2022 NCR RNAC:
Green Banner Seal of Compliance - Parañaque City and Muntinlupa City
Regional Nutrition Action of the Year - Dr. Pecos R. I. Camarines (Mandaluyong City)
Regional Nutrition Action of the Year (runner up) -
Mrs. Julita S. Bernabe (Taguig City)
Regional City Nutrition Program Coordinator of the Year - Ms. Maria Ana C. Ordenes (Muntinlupa City)
Regional City Nutrition Program Coordinator of the Year (runner up) - Ms. Maria Teresa G. Abando (Caloocan City)
Regional Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar - Ms. Daisy C. Parido (Brgy. Plainview)
Sources: nnc.gov.ph || unicef.org
Best in Nutrition Governance - Parañaque City
Best LGU in the compliance and Dissemination of National Laws and Issuances on Nutrition - Muntinlupa City
Best LGU in the Performance of Nutrition Management Functions - Parañaque City
Best in Infant and Young Child Feeding Program - Pasig City
Best in National Dietary Supplementation Program - Malabon City and Parañaque City
Best in Overweight and Obesity Management and Prevention Program - Taguig City
Best in Nutrition in Emergencies Program - Muntinlupa City
Best in PIMAM Program - Parañaque City
Best in Nutrition Promotion for Behavior Change - Parañaque City
Best in Program Effectiveness - Mandaluyong City
Best in Documentation - Municipality of Pateros
Most Innovative - Pasig City