March 2, 2024
COLLABORATION — The National Nutrition Council Cordillera led by Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Bella Basalong formalized its collaboration with the business, academe, civil society including the CAR Media Educators on Nutrition, and youth sectors in addressing the challenges of malnutrition in the region, through the SUN or Scaling Up Nutrition movement. The agency and representatives of the four networks signed the memorandum of agreement in Baguio City on Nov. 24. — Hanna Lacsamana

As part of a global movement to end malnutrition, the National Nutrition Council-Cordillera has formalized collaboration with four major networks of partners that committed to help in addressing malnutrition in the region.

The NNC-Cordillera has signed a memorandum of agreement on Nov. 24 with the business, academe, civil society, and youth sectors, formalizing its alliance known as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, which has been launched by the national government to accelerate results to eliminate all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

The movement targets to strengthen and sustain strong policy and advocacy to position nutrition outcomes, develop and align shared country priorities for action, build and strengthen country capacity with technical assistance and knowledge management; and ensure SUN governance promotes leadership and government responsibilities, aligns resources, and strengthens mutual accountabilities.

Among the partners from CSOs, members of the CAR Media Educators on Nutrition or CAR-Menu in particular have committed to contribute to policy and program formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition and related programs reaching the marginalized sector.

It also agreed to contribute to nutrition promotion and dissemination of correct and timely nutrition information, and collaborate with and support local government units, agencies and instrumentalities to improve nutrition service delivery, among other commitments.

The business, youth, academe, and other CSOs have also made commitments according to their respective mandates.

Based on the agreement, NNC-Cordillera among other tasks will coordinate partner networks to concerned local government units, agencies, and instrumentalities to scale up nutrition programs and projects, provide opportunities for training and other capacity building activities, conduct regular consultations, dialogues or meetings in relation to the accomplishments vis a vis the SUN network plan, and provide technical assistance and updates on nutrition and related policies and information.

Partners from the academe who joined the ceremonial MOA signing are the Abra State Institute of Sciences and Technology, Benguet State University, Kalinga State University, Ifugao State University, Mountain Province State Polytechnic College, University of Baguio, and Nutritionist Dieticians Association of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet chapter.

Those from the business sector are Breastfeeding Care Center of the North, Baguio City Nutrition Multipurpose Cooperative, and Benguet Electric Cooperative.

The CSO partners are the Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc., Cordillera Network, CAR-Menu, Nutrition Action Officers Association-Cordillera, and Cordillera Barangay Nutrition Scholar Federation Inc.; while youth group partners are the Philippine Association of Nutrition Beta Zeta Chapter, Cordillera Empowered Youth Advocates, and National Youth Commission Region 1 and Cordillera.

NNC-Cordillera Nutrition Program Coordinator Bella M. Basalong said the SUN movement can facilitate a more meaningful engagement and pave the way for stakeholders to be more involved in the fight against malnutrition in the Cordillera.

“We hope that we become more empowered on nutrition at hindi lang nagtatapos sa ‘Go, Grow, and Glow ang alam natin sa nutrition. Sana naiintidihan din natin ang iba pang usaping pang-nutrisyon,” Basalong said.

She also expressed hope more businesses would consider adopting nutrition as one of the key areas of their corporate social responsibility activities, as NNC extended hands to the CSOs for further collaboration to implement nutrition-specific and sensitive programs.

Basalong also called on the youth partners to use the power of their organizations to influence and inspire the younger generations to embrace a healthier lifestyle through good nutrition. – Hanna C. Lacsamana