A media engagement on May 30, 2019, 10:00 am, Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Center, Makati City provided a preview of upcoming events of the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).
The four events of DOST-FNRI that were announced included: National Summit on the Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS), 45th FNRI Seminar Series (FSS), National Science and Technology Week (NSTW): Aging Society, Health & Medical Care Cluster, and Launch of New Philippine Food Composition Tables (FCT).
Media partners from print, broadcast and online channels attended the media conference. Representing the print media were Malaya and Pilipino Mirror. Broadcast media was represented by ABS-CBN, PTV4 and DOSTv. While online channel was represented by Wazzup Pilipinas, Today Online and adobors/ABS-CBN. In his opening remarks, Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, DOST-FNRI Director, thanked the media partners for their presence and active contribution in disseminating information on DOST-FNRI research findings, services and events.
Dr. Capanzana said that, “…more than the upcoming events and their corresponding dates and venues, the DOST-FNRI is more keen at imparting the importance of said occasions to help uplift the nutritional improvement and overall wellbeing of the population, especially our young children, pregnant and lactating women, and socioeconomically disadvantaged sectors of society.”
The first audiovisual presentation (AVP) was on the National Summit on the ENNS teaser. It featured questions on whether there is an (a) increase or decrease in the number of underweight, stunted and wasted children, and chronic energy deficient adults; (b) a decrease or increase in the incidence of iron and iodine deficiencies; (c) if what has been done to address the problem is enough; (d) information on the 2013 and future economic losses of the government due to the impact of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies; and, (e) call to action among newly elected officials to include nutrition-specific interventions among their priorities to end the dreadful state of malnutrition in the Philippines.
The ensuing Q&A portion focused on the difference between the ENNS and the previous surveys conducted, R&D and S&T programs implemented by DOST-FNRI in response to the survey results, survey components, coverage, and initial results if any. To this last query, Dr. Capanzana reiterated his invitation to the media to attend the National Summit on June 25, 2019 where the ENNS results will be presented. Seated at the head table to answer questions from the media were: Dr. Capanzana, Dr. Imelda A. Agdeppa, Scientist II and Chief Science Research Specialist of the Nutritional Assessment and Monitoring Division (NAMD), Ms. Marcela C. Saises, Supervising Science Research Specialist and Chair of 45th FSS and Ms. Kristine B. Nacionales, Senior Science Research Specialist.
An audiovisual presentation on a briefer on the ENNS followed. It showed what the ENNS is all about, its components, why and how it is being conducted, the geographical areas it covered, how the survey results are used and how the stakeholders can help in the successful conduct of the ENNS.
Audiovisual presentation on each of the other upcoming events were also shown. The AVPs on the 45th FNRI Seminar Series, and the National Science and Technology Week: Aging Society, Health & Medical Care Cluster showed the importance of these events and the various activities that will be conducted. The AVP on the new Philippine FCT showed what the FCT is, who are the intended users, the evolution of the FCT and what is in the new FCT.
One of the questions during the Q&A portion was on the budget spent on these events. Dr. Capanzana explained that after every survey, results should be disseminated. Survey results are critical inputs to policy development and program planning. Further, he said that results of researches conducted by the Institute should likewise be reported. Considering the investment and the benefits that can be derived in the conduct of R&D and the ENNS, the budget put on these events is minimal.
The media conference ended with Dr. Capanzana again inviting the media to attend these events and help FNRI disseminate information on the survey results and those of the researches conducted by the Institute. Of utmost importance is the dissemination of the survey results and their implications towards meeting the Social Development Goals pertinent to nutrition. That DOSTFNRI together with the media call on our newly elected officials to include nutrition among the development programs they will be implementing in their localities. As Dr. Capazana puts it, let our call to action be, “Wastong nutrisyon ay itanghal”.
The conduct of the survey is FNRI’s contribution to PSA Resolution No. 04 Series of 2016, enjoining all concerned government agencies to provide the necessary data support to monitor the country’s performance vis-à-vis the SDGs.