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Province of South Cotabato

NNC Kicks Off National Nutrition Month Celebration in South Cotabato

Koronadal City, July 2, 2024—South Cotabato recently hosted the kick-off celebration for National Nutrition Month, marking a significant milestone in the province’s ongoing efforts to combat malnutrition. Governor Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. expressed his gratitude to the National Nutrition Council (NNC) for selecting South Cotabato as the venue for this year’s celebration, attended by at least 50 NNC members headed by Assistant Secretary Azucena Dayanghirang and over 400 barangay nutrition scholars of South Cotabato.

In his message, Governor Tamayo highlighted the province’s comprehensive approach to addressing malnutrition, emphasizing five key initiatives. He underscored the province’s commitment to maintaining a sustainable program for malnutrition.

“South Cotabato has a sustainable program for malnutrition,” he stated, stressing the importance of consistent and long-term efforts.

The governor announced the addition of 15,000 health navigators to support barangay nutrition scholars in all nutrition-related programs.

“There are five health navigators in every purok to help our barangay nutrition scholars,” he added, highlighting the collaborative effort to enhance nutrition outreach.

Governor Tamayo emphasized the importance of seamless execution of nutrition programs.

“I ensure that concerned provincial government departments are committed to the smooth implementation of the nutrition program,” he affirmed.

The governor stressed the need for strategic alignment with national programs.  He ordered the alignment of  plans with the national program and ensured the cascading of this program to barangay, municipal, and city levels, as well as to other private organizations. ”

Governor Tamayo called for collective action in the fight against malnutrition.

“Most importantly, I urge everyone to be part of the solution,” he appealed, highlighting the power of unity in achieving lasting change.

The National Nutrition Month celebration, now in its 50th year, began with a fruit-tree planting activity at Morales Elementary School.

Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Rudy Jimenea expressed optimism about the long-term benefits of this initiative. “In three to five years, these trees will bear fruits that the children can pick along the way,” he said.

The event underscores South Cotabato’s dedication to improving nutrition and health outcomes for its residents, setting a strong example for other regions to follow.

This year, the province is vying for the third Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) while Jimenea is in the loop as best provincial nutrition action officer (PNAO). Jimenea bagged the second best PNAO in the Philippines last year.

In the last 10 years, South Cotabato is also one of the outstanding implementers of nutrition programs with decreasing cases of malnutrition. At present, the province is focus on saving the 1.86%  of the total population of children below two years old who are identified as malnourished.

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