Philippines

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On 5 March 2014, Dr. Enrique T. Ona, Secretary of Health and Chair of the National Nutrition Council, announced the intention of the Government of the Philippines to join the Movement for Scaling-Up Nutrition. The official letter highlighted the commitment of the National Nutrition Council to ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms and ensuring that each Filipino enjoys his/her right to good food and good nutrition. This is especially important for young children. In 2013, UNICEF identified the Philippines as the 9th country in the world with the most number of stunted children*.

The National Nutrition Council is the highest policy making and coordinating body on nutrition in the Philippines and led the formation of the The council was established in 1978 as an integral component of the Philippine Development Plan. Since then, action for improved nutrition has evolved to include both direct nutrition interventions and indirect nutrition-sensitive approaches.

Progress

Bringing people together
27% 2016

Bringing people together

Coherent policy and legal framework
62% 2016

Coherent policy and legal framework

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework
41% 2016

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework

Financial tracking and resource mobilization
46% 2016

Financial tracking and resource mobilization

TOTAL
44% 2016

TOTAL

Nutrition situation

30.3%

Under Five Stunting

19.6%

Low Birth Weight

34%

0-5 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding

7.9%

Under Five Wasting

5%

Under Five Overweight

25.4%

Woman Anaemia 15-49 years

5.8%

Adult Blood Glucose (Diabetes)

23.6%

Adult Overweight

5.1%

Adult Obesity

Strategic objectives

The National Nutrition Council Governing Board and its Technical Committee (as per Executive Order No. 234 of 1986), convened by the Philippine Coalition of Advocates for Nutrition Security, is considered the multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder coordinating structure. Its members include relevant government agencies, a coalition of NGOs, and academia. The Council of Deans and heads of schools offering nutrition-dietetics
courses represents academia. The National Nutrition Council Secretariat is the country focal point for the SUN Movement.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
The Philippines continues to bring people together for a shared view to address both undernutrition and overnutrition in the country. The National Nutrition Council (NNC) is the highest policymaking and coordinating body for nutrition. It is composed of an NNC Governing Board and NNC Secretariat. The NNC Governing Board is a chaired by the Department of Health, and co-chaired by the Departments of Agriculture and Interior and Local Government. The NNC Secretariat serves as the executive arm of the NNC Governing Board. The NNC is supported by an NNC Technical Committee, which is composed of technical representatives from the health and agriculture sectors, local government, academia and civil society organisations. Technical working groups have been organised to look into specific concerns. Priority areas include. salt iodisation, mandatory food fortification, nutrition in emergencies, nutrition surveillance and Integrated Food Security Phase Classification.
A Programme Management Committee for the Sub-outcome on Food and Nutrition Security, under the United Nations (UN) Development Assistance Framework, is co-convened by the NNC Secretariat and the World Food Programme. It includes government and UN agencies A Working Group on Food Security and Nutrition under the Philippine Development Forum (PDF) is co-convened by the NNC Secretariat and the Food and Agriculture Organization. The PDF is the primary mechanism of the government to facilitate substantive policy dialogue among stakeholders.

Non-government organisations in the Philippines have formed the coalition The Philippine Coalition of Advocates in Nutrition. The coalition is represented in the formal government structure for policy formulation and coordination.

At the local level, inter-agency local nutrition committees are chaired by elected local chief executives. These committees, provide the mechanism for multi-sectoral action to address local nutrition problems. Further decentralisation exists at the village or barangay level with community-based nutrition volunteer workers called Barangay Nutrition Scholars. These scholars identify families with malnourished (both over- and undernourished) children through regular growth monitoring activities, and assist in the delivery of nutrition and related interventions.

Last updated: October 2015

The Philippine Coalition of Advocates for Nutrition Security convenes regular Multi-Stakeholder Platform meetings about existing policies. In the public sector, policy review is done through programme reviews, technical committee meetings and the Cabinet Cluster on Human Development and Poverty Reduction, which looks
at existing policies and gaps. Maternity leave has been prolonged and school-based feeding extended to 200 days.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
The Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (2011- 2016) (PPAN) provides the overall framework for addressing nutritional problems in the country. The plan covers both nutrition-specific and nutritionsensitivecomponents to achieve targets set for the plan period. It also highlights the importance of focusing on the first 1000 days of life. A mid-term review of the plan identified the need to:

  1. strengthen the mobilisation of local government units;
  2. make explicit the specific contributions of key sectors to nutrition improvement; and
  3. intensify and systematize the promotion of complementary feeding, management of acute malnutrition, behaviorchange communication, and advocacy.

The Department of Health has begun to formulate its Strategic Plan on Nutrition (2015-2025) to ensure coordinated strategic action among its different programs and operating units. At the local level, local nutrition committees formulate threeyear local nutrition action plans as a component of the local development plan.

Last updated: October 2015

There is a need to strengthen the role of the National Nutrition Council so that it can better coordinate nutrition programmes, lobby for action in nutrition and ensure accountability of different agencies when targets are not met. Lacking availability or relevance of policies and other resources is seen as a major constraint. Local government unit support can be further strengthened. Not all research and development results conducted are translated into policies. The absence of a centralised information system to monitor progress remains a challenge.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
A results framework for the PPAN has been drafted and relevant sectors have been consulted and awaits formal endorsement. The framework identifies key actions, including activities and output targets that should be undertaken by each sector, in line with the priorities of the PPAN. In addition, a monitoring and evaluation framework has been drafted to support the PPAN.
At the local level, a system for monitoring and evaluating nutrition plans has been institutionalised. The evaluation covers aspects of efficiency (the extent to which physical targets were achieved) and effectiveness (in terms of changes to child nutritional status). The system has the ability to recognise local government units that show exemplary performance in nutrition program management. This has enabled the development of an awards system which has become an inspiration for local government unites to also improve their respective nutrition programs.

Last updated: October 2015

A tracking of investments exercise was carried out by the National Nutrition Council in collaboration with National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Health and UNICEF. More clarity about social audits, however, is needed. The official development assistance
for nutrition is monitored by NEDA, estimated at approximately USD 21.3 million, while the Government still remains the major source of funding for nutrition programmes.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
Tracking financial investments for the PPAN is a gap that has to be addressed. Nonetheless, mobilising resources for nutrition is a continuing action that taps into resources of the national and local governments, non-government organisations, and relevant UN agencies. “Clear” investments for nutrition are evident in the national budgets of the NNC, the Departments of Health, Education, Science and Technology, Social Welfare and Development and some local government units. Alignment of these investments with the PPAN is a priority for the Philippines.
Last updated: October 2015

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