Two PH cities on their way to better nutrition governance

The Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) concluded the initial training and learning sessions to its two partners that share ZFF’s vision of ensuring the proper nutrition of pregnant women and children up to two years of age or what is known as the first 1,000 days (F1KD) of life.


From Oct. 5 to 6, ZFF conducted a learning session for the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) officials headed by its president and CEO, Amaya Aboitiz, and COO Riela Mae Guioguio.

ZFF’s orientation deepened the understanding of their role in providing the enabling environment in Cebu to improve nutrition governance and scale up relevant program interventions. As a result, RAFI committed to partner with ZFF in implementing the City Nutrition Governance Program in Cebu City and the Municipal Nutrition Governance Program in the town of Bantayan.

The governance programs can potentially benefit 55,343 F1KD population in Cebu City and another 4,951 in Bantayan.


In Manila, last Sept. 27 to 28, the first batch of Barangay Leadership for Nutrition Development was held. It had 28 participants from five Manila barangays (villages): 2 in Tondo, 2 in Sampaloc, and 1 in Malate.

The training is part of ZFF’s partnership with the Manila City government, headed by Mayor Honey Lacuna, and the Samaritan’s Purse, an international non-profit organization with programs on nutrition in selected barangays in Manila since 2016.

Under the program, ZFF capacitated the staff of Manila’s health department and Samaritan’s Purse to run its nutrition leadership and governance program for barangay officials. Those trained facilitated the recently concluded leadership program for barangay captains, barangay councilor on health, barangay nutrition scholar, barangay health worker, youth council chairman, and other relevant barangay officials.

Barangay leaders who participated in the training saw weaknesses in their nutrition systems and vowed to do the following:

. Reorganize the barangay nutrition committee

· Develop comprehensive barangay nutrition action plans

· Appoint barangay nutrition action officers

· Include F1KD nutrition in the agenda items of barangay assemblies beginning October

· Update profiles of families to capture the complete F1KD population

. Purchase vitamins and standard nutritional measuring tools for pregnant women and children

· Hold seminars for 4Ps beneficiaries and households with members belonging to the F1KD group

· Organize community gardening

With these, ZFF expects the five barangays to have functional barangay nutrition committees enjoying the support of their communities as improvements are expected to benefit an estimated 1,648 pregnant women and children aged two years and below.

Mayor Lacuna’s husband, Dr. Arnold Pangan, also Manila’s health department chief and nutrition action officer, graced the event and committed to roll out the program in more barangays.

(Published October 22, 2022)