Municipal nutrition action officers and BEANS participating in the National Nutrition Council (NNC) MIMAROPA consultative conference from March 28-31, 2022. (Photo from Palawan PIO)

The National Nutrition Council (NNC) in MIMAROPA is pushing local government officials in Palawan to include nutrition in their priority health programs to avoid having a high malnutrition rate.

NNC regional nutrition program coordinator Ma. Eileen Blanco said yesterday, March 30, that the goal is to get local government officials to focus on the preventative side of nutrition so that disease and disease-related consequences can be reduced even before a child is born.

“Gusto natin na i-priority sana ng mga local chief executives natin [sa Palawan] ang nutrition programs. Kasi gusto sana natin na mai-focus, especially sa ating localities ‘yung tinatawag nating preventive side,” she said in a press statement released by the Provincial Information Office (PIO).

NNC regional nutrition program coordinator Ma. Eileen Blanco. (Photo from Palawan PIO)

“Sa amin sa [NNC,] ang gusto talaga natin mangyari is habang bata pa lang, habang buntis pa lang si nanay, naaalagaan na si baby para lumaki siyang malusog at maging productive individual. Ayaw sana natin na mag-cause pa ito ng social problem, ‘yung mga batang kulang sa nutrisyon o ‘yung tinatawag nating malnourished,” added Blanco on Wednesday.

Blanco, who is in the city for a consultative conference with municipal nutrition action officers (MNAOs) from March 28-31, said local governments will receive windfalls from the national government’s tax revenues as a result of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, allowing them to extend their nutrition programs.

She stressed that they can boost their allocated funds for nutrition programs that benefit their constituents’ health.

“With the Mandanas-Garcia ruling di ba, full-devolution na, tataas ang national tax allocation ng mga LGU, inaasahan natin na madaragdagan ang pondo ng mga LGU. We hope na sana mabigyan talaga ng priority ang nutrition programs,” Blanco said.

As part of the consultative conference, meanwhile, the Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) of the provincial government honored the LGUs, other local officials, and Barangay Environment Agriculture and Nutrition Scholars (BEANS), who and that have contributed in the implementation of its nutrition programs on March 28.

San Vicente was named Outstanding Municipality because it has the lowest Malnutrition Prevalence Rate (MPR) in the weight-for-age, height-for-age, and weight-for-length categories. The award was for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021.

On the other hand, Barangay Alimanguan in the said town was named Outstanding Barangay, and barangay captain Cesar Caballero was recognized Outstanding Barangay Captain. Rodrigo Cipriano was named as Outstanding Municipal Nutrition Action Officer (MNAO) during the awarding ceremony.

“Ito pong award na ito ay nakakadagdag inspirasyon sa aming mga nutrition warriors at magsisilbing motivation upang ipagpatuloy pa ang trabaho upang labanan ang malnutrition sa ating lalawigan,” said Cipriano.

Around 36 BEANS were also recognized for over 30 years of service in their barangays.

“Ako po ay nagpapasalamat sa efforts ng bawat isa. Ang pagkilala na ito ay isang paraan lamang upang kayo ay magsilbing inspirasyon sa inyong bayan. Pinaghirapan ninyo ‘yang award na ‘yan kung kaya’t deserve nyo po na bigyan ng ganitong klaseng pagkilala dahil sa inyong ambag upang mapaganda pa ang nutrition program sa ating lalawigan,” Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Rachel Paladan said in her message.

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