BAGUIO CITY – Nutrition planners and implementers in the region push for the creation of permanent Nutrition Action Officer(NAO) position in the local government units whose task will be focused on nutrition.
This was arrived at during the recent Regional Nutrition Program Implementation Review where it surfaced that the absence of a permanent NAO remains to be the top common concern among LGUs except for Baguio City which has a nutrition office with 14 personnel complement. Most of the provincial/municipal nutrition action officers (P/MNAOs) are designate.
Amelia Cayap, the PNAO of Benguet, shared that packaging of nutrition programs and the reporting system remains a challenge to her because most of the Municipal Nutrition Action Officers are designate.
“When it comes to submission of reports, though they can still cope the tendency is their reports will be late because they have other tasks to do. Work overload is really a factor”, Cayap said.
Other challenges include the increasing problem on overweight and obesity in the region, decreasing Operation Timbang coverage, documentation and packaging of nutrition programs, and involvement of other nutrition committee members in planning of nutrition programs, among others.
To address these concerns, the National Nutrition Council presented some recommendations such as reorganize non-functional Local Nutrition Committee(LNC), encourage LNCs to initiate actions to address malnutrition apart from the regular activities, improve documentation on nutrition as to its completeness, consistency as well as packaging, and continue provision of technical assistance and logistics to the LGUs specially in areas with high under nutrition rate.
Among the strong points in nutrition program implementation which are common to LGUs are : supportive local chief executives, organized provincial/city nutrition committees, adequate funds for nutrition programs, trainings for nutrition workers like the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) including members of the nutrition committees, and provision of incentives to BNS.
Participants to the said review workshop included P/C/MNAOs in the entire region, and members of the Regional Technical Assistants on Nutrition./JDP/MAWC – PIA CAR