The National Nutrition Council (NNC) has recognized Mabalacat City for bagging the highest nutrition award that NNC confers to local government units during the Gawad Parangal sa Nutrisyon, otherwise known as the Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony.
Along with Mabalacat, also cited as a 2023 Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) and Nutrition Honor Awardees (NHA) in Central Luzon is Talavera town in Nueva Ecija.
NNC Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Ana Maria Rosaldo congratulated the two local government units (LGUs) for their outstanding accomplishments.
“These two LGUs are our pride. With this, it is also our honor in the NNC and the Regional Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation Team to recognize these two LGUs for not giving up on their efforts to free Central Luzon from malnutrition and achieve adequate nutrition for all,” she said.
Rosaldo also expressed optimism that the number of national awardees from the region will increase in the coming years with the increase in the number of Green Banner Seal of Compliance this year compared to previous years.
Mabalacat City Health Office Mary Ann Tolentino thanked NNC for recognizing their efforts in serving their constituents and ensuring that each Mabalaquenian receives proper nutritional intervention that they deserve.
“Mabalacat City has been a consistent awardee when it comes to nutrition programs. It goes with the 12 pillars of our Mayor; number one of which is excellent health and nutrition. That is why we in the city government work together to synchronize and complement our nutrition programs,” she said.
Tolentino also cited that for 2024, the city government has submitted programs that would contribute to the global goal of reducing stunting by at least 40 percent by focusing on giving proper nutrition to children as early as infancy until they grow older.
In his acceptance message, Talavera Councilor and Committee on Health Chairperson Joel del Rosario said they are able to achieve the award and face the severe problem of malnutrition in their town because of their collective care, dedication, and cooperation to achieve the dream of a healthy community.
“We want to thank our partners in the implementation of the different nutrition programs in our town. I would like to thank our Nutrition Office, barangay nutrition scholars, barangay health workers, department heads, and our partner sectors, and barangays. Because of your help, we have seen how much the state of nutrition in Talavera has changed,” he said.
In his message, he also shared their best practices so that other LGUs can adopt the same strategies in their fight against malnutrition, including the establishment of Botika ng Bayan, Gulayan, and Food Bank, among others.
The NHA is NNC’s highest award to date. It is open to all second year Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) Maintenance awardees or those that excelled in nutrition program management in their respective regions and garnered a minimum score of 95 percent after validation from the National Evaluation Team.
Meanwhile, the municipality of Guiguinto in Bulacan was conferred with the CROWN Award after it excelled in nutrition program management for three consecutive years.
Mayor Agatha Paula Cruz vowed to continuously work in achieving the town’s vision of providing the happiest environment for a child to grow up, citing that the award will serve as their inspiration.
“While I always say that I cannot possibly provide riches or guarantee equality of outcomes in all aspects, what we want to provide is equal opportunity for every child to determine and be able to reach their dreams. That is why we are striving to give each child, our constituents the chance to get proper nutrition so that they will have the strength to learn and to become productive adults in the future,” she stressed.
Cruz also thanked the NNC for the continuous guidance in implementing the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition goals, and for the support of the nutrition advocates in the municipality who ensure that the programs are implemented at the grassroots level.