The Philippines renews its commitment to nutrition with updated action plan
The Philippines has updated its national nutrition action plan, replacing the previous version from 2017. The new Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN), which lays out steps for improving nutrition in the country through 2028, shows the country’s commitment to making nutrition a key driver and indicator of development.
The PPAN 2023–2028, which aims to reduce all forms of malnutrition across all life stages, includes interventions that focus on healthier diets, better practices and improved access to quality services. Changes from the previous action plan include the adoption of a life stage approach, strong emphasis on food security and obesity, a results framework based on a theory of change, and recognition of the importance of improving nutrition behaviours.
“By placing nutrition at the forefront of our national agenda, we can ensure that it receives the attention and resources it deserves for comprehensive and sustainable improvements in nutrition outcomes,” said Azucena M. Dayanghirang, executive director of the country’s National Nutrition Council and the SUN Government Focal Point in the Philippines. She also is the Southeast Asia representative on the SUN Movement Executive Committee.
The National Nutrition Council, the highest governing body in the Philippines responsible for nutrition policy and leadership, has formulated the country’s nutrition plans since 1978. After launching the PPAN on 4 September, its next steps are to hold a series of information-sharing events to introduce the new six-year plan throughout the country’s many islands.
During the event, all SUN Network Convenors – including representatives from academia, business, civil society, development partners and United Nations agencies – offered messages of support for the implementation of the PPAN.
The Philippines, home to 117 million people overall, has made progress against several nutrition indicators in recent years, according to data gathered by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute in the Philippines. Stunting, or the failure of people to reach their full growth potential, has dropped since 2015 among all children, from newborns to adolescents, with the largest gains – from 31.2 per cent in 2015 to 19.7 per cent in 2021 – among children 5 to 10 years old. The percentage of pregnant women who are nutritionally at risk also has dropped significantly, from 24.7 per cent in 2015 to 16 per cent in 2021. On the other hand, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has risen in recent years, especially among older adults