MIND 7 shows the world how Philippine govt takes nutrition up a notchSubmitted by jayseejohn at April 3, 2012 - 2:37 am
The government’s Nutrition Program is aimed at improving nutrition situation by ensuring that the intervention programs were implemented properly at the local level.
In the midst of its implementation it would be worth looking at what the Local Government Units are actually doing to help mitigate hunger and malnutrition by implementing the following programs:
supplementary Feeding Program for daycare children
promotion of exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding for six months onwards,
importance of growth monitoring
establishment of community gardens to increase availability of food in the household
teach parents become better nutritionists in the nutrition education using the “Pabasa sa Nutrisyon” play and learn strategy
The National Nutrition Council network like the Provincial/Municipal/Barangay Nutrition Committees as policy and coordinating body oversee the management of these programs maximizing available resources.
In line with this a team of media experts together with the National Nutrition Council in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development regional staff will conduct a learning visit to selected areas of Bohol to understand and to get first hand information the program implementation from selected LGUs in Bohol Province.
These media experts are composed of representatives from the press, TV and radio who are members of Media and Information Network on Nutrition (MIND 7) Region VII:
Ms. Anabelle C. Lagrosas – BPPA II, DYMR
Mr. Jun P. Tagalog – Station Manager, DYLA
Ms. Imee Vanessa Casona – Station Manager, Home Radio
Ms. Marie Mignon A. Nillama – PRO II, DPWH 7
Mr. Jaysee John R. Pingkian – Cebu Bloggers Society Inc.
Mr. Vernon Joseph M. Go – Cebu Bloggers Society Inc.
Ms. Phoebe Jen Indino – Reporter, Manila Bulletin
Ms. Cherie Gozon – Segment Producer, GMA 7
Mr. Ferdinand Gonzales – Videojournalist, GMA 7
Ms. Fe C. Oribia – DNPC, Provincial Health Office, Bohol Province
Ms. Susan Y. Orpilla – Nutrition Officer III, NNC 7
Ms. Melinda O. Cañares – ND III, DSWD
Mr. Emmanuel Mongaya – SunStar Cebu
Ms. Beatrice P. Rafols – ND I, PHO, Bohol Province
Through this visit the MIND7 members will have a better understanding on how government programs were being translated into activities at the local level.
The two-day activity involves ocular visit to day care centers, breast feeding station, project sites on LGUs best practice and interviews to local chief executives, beneficiaries and other key players. It was sponsored by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) FO Region VII and was organized by Ms. Melinda D. Cañares, Nutritionist-Dietitian III, DSWD and Ms. Parolita A. Mission, DPA, RN, Nutrition Program Coordinator, NNC 7.
Bohol Media Learning Visit Objectives :
To obtain first-hand information from the implementers and beneficiaries on their experiences in implementing nutrition related programs
Document good practices
We arrived in Tubigon, Bohol and made a courtesy call to Mayor Allen Ray Z. Piezas.
We enjoyed our breakfast in his dining room before having our official media briefing. It was led by Ms. Mel and the NNC team. The Vice Mayor even gave a short message to us before heading out on our first visit.
We walked across the street to see the Breastfeeding Station in the market. It actually provides a private, safe, clean and comfortable place where mothers can breastfeed so they don’t have to do it in public which, unfortunately, used to be the case.
The station is a small wood outbuilding installation in the Tubigon marketplace but nonetheless durable and clean enough to sustain. There were also Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials available and it is actually manned by a Barangay Health Worker and the Barangay Nutrition Scholar of Barangay Centro who take turns every once in awhile to educate nursing mothers and for consultation purposes.
After learning how the local government promotes breastfeeding, we then met up with the Mayor of Calape, Bohol for a courtesy call. Mayor Sulpicio N. Yu, Jr. was very proud to announce that his town has over 5-6% decrease in malnutrition and 0% severely malnourished children. He then enumerated the mechanisms that lead them to become a Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) Maintenance Awardee for six years.
As it turns out, they have an Adopt-a-Child program too. Food security, he says, is the very focus of his programs so he issued an order that every home should have a malunggay plant available and families of malnourished children can fish for free at the municipal-owned fishpen, which is very innovative. He is lucky, he says, that the programs were institutionalized even before he sat; so all he had to do is modify it for updating and implement it. He also asked every purok to have a community garden and employed a Barangay Nutrition Scholar for all his barangays. What amused me though was that he had this order that every engaged couple who underwent pre-wedding counseling shall plant a fruit tree for each of them. Now that’s sweet.
WHY DAY CARE KIDS ARE NOW HEALTHIER?
Our wheels then rolled to the Tultugan Day Care Center to witness the actual feeding program being implemented in all day care centers every school day in the country. I didn’t know that till I actually went there. They used iron fortified rice to the kids along with vegetables and meat.
They even grow their own vegetables in the community garden and the parents take turns cooking the food according to the menu set by the national nutritionists which was very endearing. The participation of the parents is also an application of what they have learned through nutrition training which I will discuss later. After saying graces, the children enjoyed their nutritious brunch.
After having a very sumptuous lunch at the Barangay Hall of Tultugan, we immediately found ourselves immersed in Lawis Fish Sanctuary for a quick visit before we go see the governor himself.
BOHOL AWARDED AS MOST OUTSTANDING PROVINCE IN THE REGION
Gov. Edgar Chatto promised that monitoring of the programs will be more vigilant even with all the awards that they had. He intensified their projects in terms of food production.
He also took the initiative to introduce us to his great new project which is the Bohol Milk Program that is set to be the biggest carabao and cow milk farm and community-based milk processing. Yep, carabao. The distribution of the milk products will have the cooperation of parents and teachers from all over the province. It is being partnered with the National Dairy Authority and Department of Agriculture. The Bohol Dairy Farm will showcase cows which are shipped all the way from the New Zealand.
Tourism, he says, needs no reinvention; we just have to strengthen our culture. He exclaims this in emphasizing how he is managing the booming tourism industry of Bohol. Eco-tourism, as his priority, is a low-impact type of development unlike mass tourism where a lot of infrastructure has to be placed, he adds.
When one of the journalists asks him how was he able to bag home the Best Governed Province award, he has to say that he owes a lot to the “participation of the people and policy implementation.”
“We are just doing what we have to do,” he says.
He also told us that he has a great blueprint for progress which involved the three fold rule: government, civil society and the business sector. He also gives time to meet up with the local media regularly and most importantly, all his programs are directed on a single direction which is branded as HEAT Bohol. HEAT stands for Health, Education, Agriculture and Tourism.
He also made it to a point to call his initiatives as prosperity programs rather than poverty alleviation ones for more positivity. He even drops a few hints of the great things to come for their province such as preparing the necessary IT infrastructures to cultivate a BPO industry, a cruise port and an airport.
After the long fun and educational day it was, we retired at a resort in Panglao, Bohol for dinner, bed and breakfast.
ECO-AGRICULTURE: THE FUTURE OF BOHOL
The very next day, we headed on to see the Mayor of the land of the world-famous Chocolate Hills, Carmen, Bohol. Mayor Conchita delos Reyes greeted us to her very beautiful home that is just as to what a resort could be. After lunch, we gathered with her at the patio and talked about the municipality’s combat against malnutrition:
“I can say that in more than a year of being in office, the malnutrition rate [have] gone down.”
She says that he had all her hands on the Nutrition Projects and allocated as much as P100,000 for it.
CHE Project which stands for Carmen Household Entrepreneurs was a flagship program of hers that brandishes agriculture where farms grow high value crops and promotes in-land fishing. Her demo site is already up and she aims to replicate this for the 29 barangays.
“My [administration] is gearing towards sustainable progress.”
But all her successes in life as family woman, a businesswoman and being the first lady mayor is all in honor of how she started early on. “I was once a very poor person,” she says.
Carmen is now mechanizing efforts to make Carmen the country’s leading eco-agriculture tourism destination. Her demo site has grown great vegetables, houses livestock and bullfrogs, cultured tilapias and features nipa huts where guests can be accommodated. She is doing this to complement the Chocolate Hills so that people will have more reasons to stay which is slowly being overturned by other local destinations. Should these community farms make it big on her municipality, you can just imagine what it could do to other places in the country who are struggling economically and in upscaling the nutrition status of their constituents.
PARENTS ARE NOW BETTER NUTRITIONISTS! BOHOL MOMS SHOW US HOW
After this, we found our way to the municipality’s Action Center where a great nutrition program is taking place. The project is called Pabasa sa Nutrisyon which aims to educate parents about breastfeeding and basically learning more about food through a series of lectures and games. This is also implemented all over the country and is conducted by a trained volunteer.
BREASTFEEDING MOMS ARE HEROES IN THE COUNTRY! INTRODUCING LACTATION STATIONS
To be able to see the best practices of promoting breastfeeding even in the in the workplace, we were toured to the lactation station in BQ Mall where shoppers and employees can breastfeed their child in a private, comfortable place.
They it is also equipped with a refrigerator for employees who wishes to pump milk and feed it to their child when they get home. A TV is set up which educates about how breastfeeding can be both beneficial to the mother and the child. This project is being spearheaded by their HR department and is being benchmarked as best practice in supporting working mothers and providing quality customer service. The said station is being manned by the volunteers from Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP) Bohol which offers consultation services for free.
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