(Photo courtesy of PIO)

Three individuals from the provincial government were recognized as outstanding workers in addressing malnutrition during the recent Regional Nutrition Awards of National Nutrition Council (NNC)-MIMAROPA.

Mila Veneranda of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) was nominated as a 3rd Outstanding District Nutrition Program Coordinator; provincial nutrition action officer Rachel Paladan as Regional Outstanding Nutrition Action Officer; and Rosie Asuela of Barangay Panacan, Narra as 2nd Outstanding Regional Barangay Nutrition Scholar.

In 2018, Palawan consistently topped MIMAROPA in the annual malnutrition monitoring statistics, which officials said is attributed mainly to its comparatively large population.

Paladan said that their efforts are to lessen the malnutrition status in Palawan.

“Yong ganitong award, bonus na lang ito. ‘Yong pinaka-essence talaga nito ay mapababa natin ‘yong malnutrisyon sa lalawigan ng Palawan at magsisilbi itong inspirasyon para ipagpatuloy pa ang magandang nasimulan natin para sa nutrition program,” she said.

Veneranda also said that it is her first time to receive recognition from the NNC. She emphasized the importance of agriculture in addressing malnutrition particularly in the implementation of the Food Always in the Home (FAITH) program.

She said that food security should be practiced in every household, that will not only help lessen malnutrition but also poverty.

“I am very lucky na makatanggap tayo ng ganitong award bago man lang ako mag-retire. Importante talaga ang food security sa nutrisyon para hindi magkasakit ang bata dahil sa kakulangan sa pagkain. Kailangan secure ang bawat tahanan sa pagkain kaya malaking bagay ang FAITH program para maibaba ang malnutrisyon sa Palawan,” she said.

The regional nutrition award is a program of NNC and Department of Health (DOH) that recognizes the role of the workers who contribute to address the malnutrition problem in their locality.

As the province with the highest malnutrition incidence in the MIMAROPA, the Palawan provincial government recently committed to support the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022 to promote healthy living.

Carina Santiago, regional director said the PPAN aims to solve the nutrition problem in the country particularly stunted, wasted or moderate malnutrition, and overweight children.

“Hindi lang po ang national government, hindi lang po ang regional-line agencies, hindi lang po ang local government sa munisipyo at barangay kundi each and every one of us. Ang gusto namin, bawat isa sa atin should contribute to the successful implementation of the PPAN,” Santiago said previously.

The awarding ceremony was held in Manila on September 30.