Agri Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee filed a measure to expand the powers and functions of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) into a commission to strengthen its mandate to address the country’s long-standing problems on malnutrition.
According to Lee, the government needs to scale up its workforce and resources to combat hunger and severe malnutrition, as the country is facing a high prevalence of wasting, stunting, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight among children and women.
“Our country faces the multi-faceted problems of malnutrition and undernutrition which are deeply rooted in different health, social, economic, and political aspects, resulting in prevailing illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and child stunting, among others,” said the Sorsogon lawmaker.
“It is high time to strengthen the NNC to expand its powers and functions and scale it up into a Commission to respond to the prevailing hunger and malnutrition situation in the country,” he added.
Since its creation in 1974, the NNC has remained a small agency with a lean organizational structure of about 150 officials and staff in both the central and regional offices working together to fulfill its functions of policy-making, coordinating, and monitoring and evaluating nutrition programs from the national down to the regional levels.
On top of implementing and overseeing various laws and its regular inter-agency participation and collaboration, the NNC is one of the agencies tasked to help in fulfilling the country’s international commitments in the United Nations and ASEAN. Rio N. Araja
Under AGRI’s House Bill No. 7586 or the “Nutrition Act of 2023”, a 10-year Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) shall be developed and formulated by the Commission in coordination with non-government organizations and relevant government agencies such as the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Education, among others. The PPAN should be aligned with the Philippine Development Plan.
“Healthy citizens play an important role in realizing food security within families and communities. Kaya kailangan ng matatag at maaasahang Komisyon na talagang nakatutok para tugunan ang mga pangangailangan sa nutrisyon ng Pilipino. Mas makakaambag sa lipunan ang malusog at produktibong mamamayan, kaya Winner Tayo Lahat sa pagsasabatas ng panukalang ito,” said Lee.
If this measure is passed into law, the State shall provide the initial amount necessary for the organizational and operational requirements of this Act. Thereafter, the amount necessary to carry the provisions shall be included in the General Appropriations Act one year following its enactment into law.