THE National Nutrition Council (NNC) has noted a downward trend of malnutrition prevalence rate in the Davao Region from 10.08 percent in 2008 to 8.67 percent in 2009.

NNC Regional Chief Teresa Ungson, in Kapihan sa PIA (Philippine Information Agency), said she attributed this to efforts of local government units (LGUs) in putting in place programs and projects geared towards addressing malnutrition.

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Ungson expected the prevalence rate to go down by one or two points this year still owing to efforts of LGUs, which she said had become conscious about resolving malnutrition problem especially among children.

Parallel to downward malnutrition prevalence rate, some LGUs in the region have grabbed recognition as a Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (Crown).

Ungson said Pantukan of Compostela Valley and the province of Davao del Norte are aiming for the Crown Awards Maintenance Level this year.

Ungson also revealed that, three years ago, Nabunturan of Compostela Valley and Panabo City of Davao del Norte had already got the Nutrition Honor Award, the highest recognition bestowed on LGUs, which had done exemplary efforts on addressing malnutrition problem.

Part of Crown awarding is the recognition given to Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS).

The region already had one BNS winner from Barangay A.O. Floirendo, and this year, certain Anglito Conde from a barangay in Tagum City is vying for the same award this year.

On the other hand, Ungson urged the public to patronize food fortified with iron, vitamins and other nutrients, bearing "Sangkap Pinoy Seal" and eat fresh fruits and vegetables, which she said, seemed no longer form part of people's daily diet in this fast-paced society.

She also encouraged LGUs to set up "Gulayan ng Bayan" to provide access to fresh vegetable in the community. (PIA 11/Jean Duron-Abangan)