Sarangani Governor Pacquiao links with mayors in solving malnutrition


Sarangani Governor Pacquiao links with mayors in solving malnutrition

Through the Accelerated Executive Session for Governor (AESG), Sarangani Governor Rogelio "Ruel" D. Pacquiao affirmed his commitment to collaborate with the seven municipal mayors in addressing the issue on malnutrition.

The AESG focused on "Strengthening Integrated Provincial Leadership and Governance for Nutrition in the Province of Sarangani." It was conducted by the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation and Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) on August 19 at Acacia Hotel, Davao City.

During the Governor's Engagement with the Municipal Mayors, the governor reflected on his leadership journey.

He shared, "I know how it is to be poor. I know how it is to be hungry. My commitment is to bring public services closer to our people. Together with our mayors, we will build a Better Sarangani."

During the engagement, the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) of Sarangani: Alabel Mayor Vic Paul Salarda, Malungon Mayor Maria Theresa Constantino, Maasim Mayor Zyrex Pacquiao, Maitum Mayor Alexander Bryan Reganit, Malapatan Mayor Salway Sumbo Jr., Kiamba Mayor George Falgui, and Glan Mayor Victor James Yap Sr., affirmed their commitment as Nutrition Champions.

They shared their insights, concerns, suggestions, and appreciation to Gov. Pacquiao for the "opportunity to come together and align the programs, projects, and activities towards a common vision."

Rogelio "Ruel" Pacquiao

The governor declared that his vision for a Healthy Sarangani is "anchored on addressing malnutrition by focusing on the first 1,000 days of life."

Provincial Health Officer and Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Dr. Arvin Alejandro discussed the prevalence of wasting (low weight-for-height) and stunting (low height-for-age) in the province vis-a-vis the national rates. He facilitated the action planning.

With a clear grasp of the current nutrition reality in Sarangani, the governor and the mayors recognized the need to "strengthen and integrate multi-sectoral efforts to solve the complex problems that Sarangani is facing."

Dr. Ramir Anthony T. Blanco, one of the resource persons, highlighted the importance of "Responding to the Call: Bridging Leadership for F1KD Nutrition." He explained the value of ownership, co-ownership, and co-creation in crafting and implementing health and nutrition programs.

Former DILG Usec. Austere Panadero, ZFF Executive Director, observed that the activity "shows that everyone is aligned."

He assured the LCEs, "We are happy to collaborate with you on this. Food Security Plan is a good starting point. We can build on those things that we have already set in place."

Panadero challenged the Sarangani leaders to avert "new cases of malnutrition through Pregnancy Tracking." He emphasized, "Execution is key. Let us look on how we can harness technology."

The ZFF activity for the governor was attended by the Philhealth Regional Vice President Dr. Hector Zenon Malate, DOH-12 Regional Director Dr. Aristides Concepcion Tan, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of National Nutrition Council XII Retsebeth M. Laquihon, Provincial Administrator Atty. Ryan Ramos, Executive Assistant to the Governor Atty. Stephany Velasco-Datig, Provincial Nutrition Coordinator Charise Jabines-Posadas, and Provincial Information Officer Joana Grace Banting-Lapore.

The interactive session was capped with the signing of the Commitment Wall that bears the governor's declaration that there will be Zero Malnutrition in Sarangani by 2025. (Joana Grace Banting-Lapore/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE; Photos by Nico Aguilar/PGO-CDU)