News on Health and Nutrition in Eastern Visayas region
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Region 8 Barangay Nutrition Scholars attend congress!

August 7, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The fully packed Tacloban Astrodome reverberated with cheers and applause coming from more than 3,500 Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) as Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Maria-Bernardita T. Flores mentioned a provision in the Senate Bill 2397 which is to provide a P5,000 monthly allowance for Barangay Nutrition Workers.

Senate Bills No. 9 and 2397 or “An Act Creating the Position of Barangay Nutrition Worker in Every Barangay, Providing Incentives Thereto Appropriating Funds Therefor, Amending for the Purpose Presidential Decree 1569” authored by Senators Loren Legarda and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., when passed, will make the position of the BNS – that shall be called Barangay Nutrition Worker (BNW) a mandatory position in the barangay.

Assistant Secretary Maria-Bernardita T. Flores, also Executive Director of National Nutrition Council (NNC), was Keynote Speaker in the First Eastern Visayas Barangay Nutrition Scholar Congress held July 28, 2011 at the Tacloban City Convention Center. The summit, which bannered the theme “BNS: Bida ng Sambayanan”, was attended by Barangay Nutrition Scholars from all over the region.

House Bill 2889 entitled “Strengthening the Barangay Nutrition Scholar Program” authored by Agham Partylist Rep. Angelo Palmones and likewise his House Resolution 592 entitled “A Resolution Directing the Retention of Barangay Nutrition Scholars in Service to Help Pursue the Achievement of the Millennium Goals”, were other revelations of Asst. Sec. Flores, in her address, that drew euphoria from the audience.

Flores explained that with the help of Cong. Palmones, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued a Memorandum Circular 2010-147 directing the barangay captains nationwide to retain and re-appoint the trained barangay workers and BNS in order to utilize their skills, knowledge and experience, instead of training anew new uninitiated barangay workers.

But the highlight of the one-day BNS affair was the turnover of a draft Magna Carta of BNS from Region 8 BNS Federation President Lydia Nuñez to the Region 8 legislators represented by Southern Leyte lone district Cong. Roger G. Mercado for its support and passage in Congress.

The Magna Carta for BNS, drafted by DOH Regional Director Edgardo M. Gonzaga, once legislated will institutionalize the BNS. It was learned the DOH director likewise had solicited the support from all the congressmen of Eastern Visayas for the passage of said measure that will not only benefit the BNSs in the region, but the BNSs nationwide.

The 1st Eastern Visayas BNS Congress was conducted as the culmination of this year’s Nutrition Month celebration in the region with the theme: “Isulong ang BREASTFEEDIKNG-Tama, Sapat at EKskusibo!”