Nutrition awarding goes virtual

27 August 2021 – Following precautions against the dreaded Covid-19 virus and variants, virtual award-giving to the best-performing barangay nutrition committee, top barangay nutrition scholars, service awardees and celebratory activities was done last Monday, August 23.

This is in celebration of Baguio’s 47th year of the nutrition program under the City Health Services Office (CHSO), though the evaluation was done in 2019-2020. The Baguio City Nutrition Council (BCNC) had small-group activities, with simple awarding ceremonies and skipped crowd-drawing gatherings last year due to the pandemic.   

Barangay Pucsusan led by Punong Barangay (PB) Richard Mendoza topped the best performing barangay nutrition committee, followed by Lourdes Subdivision Proper and Alfonso Tabora under the leadership of lady PBs Rowena Gelisanga and Virginia Pugong, respectively.

Middle Quezon and Upper Quezon Hill led by lady PBs Edita Ibarra and Dinah Campos, respectively are fourth and fifth in same category. Said barangays performed exemplarily in implementing nutrition practices in their locality as to the theme, “Malnutrisyon, Patuloy na Labanan; First 1,000 days Tutukan.”

Other barangays Palma-Urbano, PMA Fort del Pilar, Gabriela Silang, SLU-SVP, Lower Quirino Hill, Lopez Jaena, Victoria Village, Irisan, Brookspoint, Country Club Village, Private road Magsaysay, Upper City Market, West Quirino Hill, Pinsao Proper and Honeymoon-Holyghost led by their respective PBs were also cited for being in the top 20 performing nutrition committee.

Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholars; Noemi Garcia of Tabora barangay, Marriane Ramos of Lourdes Subdivision Proper, Eusebia Calderon of Pinsao Proper, Baby Ruth Entac of SLU SVP, Carla Castaneda of Upper City Market and Christine Cortez of Pucsusan ranked first to six places, respectively. They received plaques of appreciation for their services.

For service awardees, Ma. Louisa Cawed of Guisad Central is the lone Barangay Nutrition Scholar awardee for twenty years; with twelve ten-year and nine five-year service awardees from the barangays.    

In their virtual messages, Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Baguio City Health Services Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo, City Nutrition Action Officer Angelita Sabado underscored the important role of nutrition workers in the barangays. Nutrition is a basic need in an individual’s first 1000 days; conception and nurturing within the womb and the first two years of life, they concurred.

Failure to acquire proper nutrition would result in a lifelong deficit in the brain and body, thus the need for continuing proper nutrition for both mother and child, Dr. Galpo emphasized, which would also assure added immunity against illnesses.

Speaker for the occasion, Bella Basalong of the National Nutrition Council (NNC-CAR) also commended the nutrition workers’ efforts to keep malnutrition at bay, especially during the pandemic. The nutrition action officers and scholars are frontliners as they educate, encourage and engage the community to fight against all kinds of malnutrition and other problems including stunting, wasting, obesity, micronutrient deficiencies, hunger and food insecurity, she said.

She affirmed that barangay leaders are prime movers as they reach out to their constituents, for the implementation and strengthening of nutrition programs at the grassroots. We recognize their efforts to contribute to barangay, city, regional and nationwide plans for nutrition, moving aside perceived inequalities in the environment, she intimated.

Target groups: pregnant women, their families, local chief executives, Non-Government Organizations, civil society, the academe, NGOs and local government units, private groups, the media and business community; practically the whole community contributes to a functional local committee and be aligned to the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022, Basalong said.

Key messages for the specific target groups to support nutrition improvement are: “Kumain ng sapat, para tamang weight gain ang katapat,” “Maging madiskarte sa pagpapakain kay baby,” “Nutrisyon ng aking bayan, aking pananagutan,” and “Supportahan ang PPAN, invest in the first 1,000 days.”  

The virtual awarding also recognized winners in a Nutri-song contest topped by Broookspoint barangay, headed by PB Douglas Sial, followed by Pinget, Asin road, Pacdal, West Quirino Hill, Palma-Urbano, Magsaysay Private road, Ambiong and Cabinet Hill-Teacher’s Camp.

Another award given is the “Duyan ng Pagmamahal” Interpretative Dance Contest which was aced by Engineer’s Hill and Scout Barrio health district, followed by Loakan and Atok Trail; Quezon Hill, Asin and Irisan; Lucban; Aurora Hill and Quirino Hill; Mines View and Pacdal; and Campo Filipino and Pinsao health districts. This is an original Tagalog composition by Nutrition Worker Remedios Martinez of barangay Engineers Hill in 2018.

In an audio-video presentation, the song encompasses the concerted effort of both workers and parents to bring about a healthy infant and a productive citizen who could contribute to nation-building. The AV presentation is also a compilation of the BCNC’s activities through the years. – Julie G. Fianza with reports from the Baguio City Nutrition Council, CHSO