Editorial: July is National Nutrition Month

Every year, in the month of July, the Philippines observes National Nutrition Month, pursuant to Presidential Decree 49, the Nutrition Act of the Philippines, signed on June 25, 1974. The National Nutrition Council (NNC) leads the nationwide launching of the 39th observance of National Nutrition Month on July 1, 2013, with the theme "Gutom at Malnutrisyon, Sama-sama Nating Wakasan."

The 2013 National Nutrition Month celebration seeks to raise awareness on issues and actions to mitigate hunger and malnutrition; encourage people, non-government agencies, the private sector, civil society groups, and communities to address the issues, and advocate for stronger political action. The Department of Education (DepEd) and NNC are urging all schools to participate in the celebration by undertaking activities that will highlight the importance of good health and nutrition.

Various activities have been lined up throughout the country for the month-long celebration, including planting of vegetables and fruit-growing trees at schools, day care centers, communities, hospitals, parks, and residences; forums, lectures, and seminars; contests, concerts, exhibits, and sports festivals. Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) are frontliners in delivering nutrition and health services in the barangays, and key implementers in the advocacy for community development projects. Some 22,083 BNS are currently deployed by NNC in 954 municipalities covering 19,032 barangays nationwide.

This year, NNC member-agencies, local government units, and local chief executives are urged to harmonize programs to ensure that Filipinos have access to adequate, nutritious, and safe food, and that improved delivery and access to social services enhance food localization.

We congratulate the National Nutrition Council Governing Board, headed by Department of Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona, Chairman; Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, Vice Chairman; Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II, Vice Chairman; Department of Education Secretary Bro. Armin A. Luistro and Council Secretary Maria Bernardita T. Flores, in their unified approach toward nutritional adequacy for all Filipinos in the Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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