Local artist wins HIMSoG logo making contest

HIMSoG logo making contest
HIMSoG-8 logo winner Eduardo Rompal (in black shirt) with NNC-8 regional coordinator Carina Santiago and the 5 judges.
March 20, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY – Local artist Eduardo “Ed” Rompal won the logo making contest for the media group “Harmonized Initiatives of Media for the Spread of Good Nutrition in Region 8” (HIMSoG-8) and bagged the cash prize of P5,000.

In all, there were eight entries and Ed, as he is familiarly called by many, was the last to submit his entry. However judges of the logo contest composed of three university professors, one agency director, and one TV media personality picked his entry as best during the judging held March 11, 2011 at Hotel Alejandro, this city.

Himsog is a vernacular word for “healthy body” and thereby in the winning logo: The steam over the bowl – which is a stylized letter M represents the group of media practitioners, floating hot as to their fervent desire to fight hunger and malnutrition, moving on upward motion to extend overall communication support to the government for the success of Accelerated-Hunger Mitigation Program (AHMP) and Promotion of Good Nutrition (PGN) through media power.

The Rice Bowl, a receptacle for food, symbolizes Region 8, the media group’s home base, and its leaning inward is the motivation to bring positive behavioral changes in people in order to transform depressed places into hunger and malnutrition free communities. The Triangular Form connotes growth and development, and its three corners signifying the HIMSoG collective intent to reach out to all points of Region 8.

Judges of the contest were professors Stephen Q. Lagarde (UP), Heidrun Milan (EVSU), Faustito A. Aure (EVSU), PIA Regional Director Olive P. Tiu, and TV personality Ronnie Roa.

Media support enlisted in the fight vs. hunger and malnutrition

October 29, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY – Combining the force of the media with the brarangay folks in the fight against hunger and malnutrition was the goal of the joint Anti-Hunger Mitigation Program (AHMP) Media Forum and Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) Congress held at the Leyte Park Hotel Gymnasium, Tacloban City October 21, 2010.

The anti-hunger program of the government dubbed as AHMP was presented to a combined audience of some 20 media practitioners in this city and more than 1,200 Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) from the 41 municipalities of the Leyte Province.

Organizers put the twin problems of hunger and malnutrition to scrutiny, stressing what the government is doing to address them, and the role that the BNSs play and what the media can do in fighting them.

National Nutrition Council (NNC) Region 8 chief Carina Santiago said, “With the combined support of these two influential groups, more Filipinos especially at the grassroots level will have increased knowledge on AHMP and good nutrition, and will rally behind the fight.”

The BNSs are seen as the champions of nutrition at the grassroots, doing the tedious task of children’s weight monitoring, promoting and teaching mothers and caregivers proper nutrition including exclusive breastfeeding, and helping implement nutrition projects such as backyard vegetable gardening and supplemental feeding. These tasks oftentimes interfere with their own domestic responsibilities. Having very minimal allowance, the BNSs are purely doing voluntary work, it was learned.

Discussions during the joint Media Forum and BNS Congress primarily focused on the AHMP framework wherein the problem is attacked both from the supply and demand side. Banner projects of AHMP include Food-for-School Program, Gulayan sa Masa at Paaralan, Barangay Bagsakan, Tindahan Natin – all aimed at increasing food supply. Strategies to improve food delivery from the production sites to the market are also being implemented by constructing more farm-to-market roads, ports, irrigation and RORO facilities.

Also a priority action of the government now is to put more money in poor people’s pockets for them to be able to buy food. This is being realized through microfinancing, and intensive job and livelihood generating projects of different government agencies.

Discussions in the afternoon session shifted to the importance of good nutrition and how the BNSs can help promote it at the barangay level.

NNC Executive Director Asst. Secretary Ma. Bernardita Flores delivered the keynote speech of Health Secretary Francisco Duque, who was in Luzon to attend to the outbreak of diseases in flood-stricken areas. Also present during the affair were Director Leo Cañeda of the Department of Agriculture, Director Edgardo Gonzaga of the Department of Health, Leyte Vice Governor Mimiet Bagulaya, Directors Leticia Corillo of the DSWD, Carina Santiago of the NNC and Romeo Quiza of NIA, and NFA Manager Ben Marta.

Dir. Cañeda said hunger is not only caused by lack of food due to poverty, but by lack of food supply as well. He said even if there’s money to buy food if there is not enough food in the market, people will still go hungry. He also stressed the importance of promoting good nutrition since it will teach people to buy the right food. Managing population growth is also a must because large family size exacerbates the problem.

The BNS Congress has become an annual tradition of the province of Leyte as a venue for putting into limelight the unsung heroes of nutrition, the BNSs. This year’s gathering sent them home packed with greater understanding and appreciation of nutrition, and many of them also bringing home raffle prizes donated by the members of the Regional Anti-Hunger Task Force as well as from the private sector. This initiative of the provincial government of Leyte, with Governor Petilla on top and with the Provincial Nutrition Action Officer, Melchora Cawile as focal person, is worth replicating in other provinces.

According to the NNC regional chief, Carina Santiago, after the day-long joint learning and sharing activity, it is expected that the fight against hunger and malnutrition in the province will continue to scale up to greater heights.

Public-Private-Partnership underway in the implementation of Salt Iodization Program

October 10, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY – The Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (BATF) composing mostly of representatives from agencies of the government, has asked for the assistance of the local salt traders in improving the implementation of the salt iodization program. With the backing of the Global Alliance for Nutrition (GAIN), a Public-Private-Partnership is now underway.

This is after the successful conduct of the first meeting between the two groups last September 29, 2010 at the Hotel Alejandro -- where the salt traders of Tacloban City reacted positively to help in government efforts to attain standard iodine content in table salt marketed throughout Eastern Visayas region.

Thus, another round of meeting between the two groups is scheduled on November 3, 2010 where the BATF members will be trained on the use of the WYD Iodine Checker donated by GAIN, and will be used in monitoring of salt at ports.

A survey bore that the iodine status of children and pregnant/lactating women in the region are below optimum. This may be because the salt being shipped to the region is below the 20ppm (highest of 70ppm).

Twelve traders or their representatives attended the said meeting, among them: Yaokasin Trading, A&J (Bright Marketing), Chin Hong Commercial, Fortune Merchandising, AMON Commercial, Asia Trading, Yapson Trading, Sam’s Trading, and Cocomart.

James Yap, proprietor manager of Yapson Trading, voiced out in the said meeting that they (salt traders) thought all along that the salt they were getting here were all right (FDA standard). He expressed his gratitude for the information saying that they (traders) are willing to cooperate with the government for the success of the salt iodization program in Region 8.

The Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (BATF) in Eastern Visayas is composed of the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Philippine National Police, Philippine Ports Authority, the National Nutrition Council, Dept. of Science and Technology, Dept. of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Information Agency and media.

Salt shipments to Region 8 watched

September 9, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY – Household salt being shipped to Eastern Visayas region may not contain the required iodine content as set by the Food and Drug Administration.

This was the focus of concern in a meeting held on Sept. 2, 2010 by the Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (BATF) that is composed of the BFAD, DOH, DILG, DepEd, PNP, PPA, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) and media, and presided by Teofreda Goyone of the Food and Drug Administration.

It was also attended by Edward P. Otico of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), who flew in from Manila just for the meeting.

NNC Regional Director Carina Z. Santiago disclosed that Region VIII has a very high utilization of iodized salt in the household at 97.2%, based on the 2008 National Nutrition Survey (NNS). This means, she said, that almost all the salt in the local markets and stores are iodized. However based on the same survey it was learned that the iodine status of children and pregnant/lactating women in the region are still below optimum, she said.

This may be because of low amount of iodine in household salt, which is 7.9ppm as against the target of 15ppm. It may be the salt being shipped to the region is below the 20ppm (highest of 70ppm).

The City Health Office here in partnership with the BATF has identified several activities to respond to these findings. Among them is a friendly visit to salt traders here on September 22, and a meeting with them to solicit their cooperation in improving quality of iodized salt coming to the region on September 29; and the conduct of a monthly monitoring/inspection of salt warehouses using the WYD Checker.

It was learned that most salt in the region comes from Mindoro, at a volume of around 18 to 20 tons per shipment, in every two months.

Anti-Hunger Pro-Nutrition Region 8 Media Group formed

Pro-Nutrition Region 8 Media Group

September 3, 2010

ORMOC CITY – “Fighting hunger and malnutrition through media power” is the motto of the newly organized media practitioners group that was given birth by the National Nutrition Council Region 8 through a “Regional Media Organizational Meeting and Planning Workshop” held at the Sabin Resort Hotel here August 27, 2010.

The new media body from the tri-media is expected to support the government’s Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program (AHMP), in fighting or curving if not eradicating hunger incidence in Eastern Visayas through advocacy of good nutrition.

A selected 22 private media practitioners from different media outlets region-wide, seven government media from the Philippine Information Agency, and 13 provincial/city nutrition action officers were guided by nine National Nutrition Council Region 8 personnel headed by Regional Director Carina Z. Santiago.

Through a series of workshops, they were made to come up with group action plan of information campaign against hunger and malnutrition on the regional level and provincial level.

Each participant was also made to come up with individual broadcast/publication advocacy campaign plans in support to AHMP through the promotion of Good Nutrition.

Prior to the planning stages on the one-day affair, the congregation of media practitioners was first organized as a formal regional “Anti-Hunger Pro-Nutrition Media Group of Region 8” by electing its set of officers. Elected were Francis Batula - president, Sarwel Meniano - vice president for print, Jimmy Angayangay - vice president for broadcast, Ven Labro - vice president for online media, Tito Acbo - secretary, Ronnie Roa – treasurer, and Cecille Tibo - auditor.

The day commenced with a briefing and orientation of the participants on the Basic Concepts of Nutrition, Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program and Promotion of Good Nutrition, and National and Regional Nutrition Situation by Carina Santiago and Segundina Devota A Dilao.