An appeal to all Barangay Chairmen, City and Municipal Mayors, Provincial Governors, Congressmen and the National Nutrition Council to participate in the urgent need for immediate action for nutritional improvement.

PAN call upon official and national agencies to:

• Intensify implementation of PPAN impact programs at the barangay level especially in identified provinces, municipalities and cities;

• Focus on priority barangay and families; and, 

• Establish and sustain the barangay plan and program of action for nutrition through a barangay- and family- driven approach. 

The local government units at the provincial and municipal levels and in particular, at the barangay, are the key to effective strategy to address the needed urgent call for action in nutritional improvement.

LGUs have the authority and responsibility to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate, and most importantly, allocate needed resources for local nutrition programs through a barangay and family- driven approach.

LGUs have the power and accountability as well, to bring about improved nutrition for its constituents and their families by integrating the barangay plan and program of action for nutrition into the local development plan in all levels.

What LGUs must do

1.Focused targeting or giving priority and immediate attention to:

  • Families with underweight preschool children and/or pregnant and lactating women in target barangay
  • All cities and municipalities with the highest prevalence of underweight preschool children, and in these cities and municipalities, all barangays with the highest prevalence of underweight school children, as primary targets.

2.Convergence of basic nutrition, health and related services to targeted families

3.Planning, implementing, monitoring and, mobilizing and allocating resources to nutrition impact programs including:

  • Growth Monitoring
  • Nutrition Information and Education
  • Community and Home Food Production and Livelihood
  • Micronutrient Supplementation – vitamin A, iron, iodine
  • Promotion of Breastfeeding and Adequate Complementary Feeding
  • Promotion and Consumption of Fortified Foods

 

4.Capacity development of nutrition workers, families and barangays by:

  • Revitalizing nutrition committees in all levels particularly at the barangay level through intensive advocacy and training led by the National Nutrition Council and its Regional Offices
  • Strengthening barangay program planning and management capacity of barangay nutrition workers.
  • Enabling families to plan, implement and monitor a nutrition improvement program at home and in their barangays.

Nutrition Situation in the Philippines

Over the last three decades of nutrition program implementation, nutritional improvement has been slow among Filipino households particularly infants and young children, pregnant and lactating women.

There is a high prevalence of undernutrition among children 0-5 years.  Provinces have been identified where prevalence of protein-energy malnutrition is high.

  • In 2003:

57 out of 100 households are still below 100% of their dietary energy requirement.

28 out of 100 children aged 0-5 years are underweight due to current malnutrition.30 out of 100 children aged 0-5 years are underheight due to chronic malnutrition.

About five to six out of 100 children aged 0-5 years are wasted in body due to severe malnutrition.

  • From 1988-90 to 2001:

A low 0.35 percent annual average reduction in the prevalence of underweight preschoolers

  • Between 1998 and 2003

A low 0.88 percent reduction in the prevalence of underweight preschoolers per year compared with the target of four percent.

  • The 2003 survey show increasing prevalence of diet related diseases, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes across socio-economic groups. 

 

Achieving Good Nutrition:  A Critical Development Issue

People are the country’s key human resource capital.  Their quality determines to an immeasurable extent the state of national development.

Nutrition tells heavily on the mental performance, physical endurance and socio-psychological adaptability of men, women, and children.

Global examples show the very close relation between good nutrition and national economic and social development.  Poor nutrition holds back economic and social progress.

Achieving good nutrition, adequate food in quality and quantity, for a continually growing population such as the Philippines is a huge challenge.

 

Good Nutrition Begins in the Home and in the Barangay

A barangay plan and program of action for nutrition emanating from the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) has been successfully demonstrated by the Nutrition Center of the Philippines.

In 1999-2000, 43 selected barangays in 17 municipalities in Luzon and the Visayas implemented the barangay plan and program of action for nutrition resulting in:

  • Reduced number of underweight preschool children
  • Increased demand for fortified foods and iodized salt at the household level
  • Improved coverage of vitamin A and iron supplementation.
  • Introduced Pabasa sa Nutrisyon, and interactive nutrition education strategy
  • Improved nutrition committee organization and management of the nutrition program.

Micronutrient malnutrition trends to reside mostly in families with children suffering from protein-energy malnutrition.  Reaching families with underweight preschool children will most likely target children with micronutrient malnutrition as well. 

PAN Recommends . . . . . . . . .

  • A statement urging immediate action for a nutrition and related policy, strategy, program or measure to hasten nutritional improvement particularly among the children, women and other vulnerable groups.
  • Based on research and scientific investigations, international commitments and national priorities.
  • PAN Recommend No. 1, 2003 urged the Department of Health (DOH) to provide weekly iron supplementation for 1-5 year old children.
  • PAN Recommend No. 2, 2004 Judicious application of biotechnology for nutritional and dietary improvement.