NDAP President’s Message to New RNDs

My heartfelt congratulations to the newly registered nutritionist-dietitians (RNDs) on your oath-taking ceremony and induction to the profession this 4th day of September 2014!

The NDAP as the accredited organization of professional nutritionist-dietitians in the country has been working hard to push for a new legislation to upgrade the law covering the practice of Nutrition and Dietetics in the Philippines. House Bill 4742 is now in the Committee on Health in the House of Representatives while Senate Bill 2356 will have public hearings in the Senate. As incoming professionals I hope you will be actively involved in expediting the passage of these bills by writing/approaching your Congressman and your favorite Senator to co-sponsor the bills in both Houses. Salient provisions include having RNDs in hospitals with at least 10 bed capacity and one RND for every 25,000 population. We are now 100 million, and based on population alone we need 4000 RNDs. This number is apart from the requirements in hospitals and clinics whose RNDs will be determined by bed capacity. We have 1,812 hospitals in the Philippines (as of 2010) and 384 are training hospitals which will require more RNDs. Other areas of practice like foodservices, wellness & fitness centers, nutrition agencies and schools that offer nutrition courses will provide a lot more opportunities. However, you have to be ready with your skills and competence as ND practitioners.

Professional nutritionist-dietitians like other professions need practitioners who are globally aware, civically engaged, economically and financially literate and fluent in information, media and technology skills, and capable of managing their lives and careers in order to succeed in a world that is constantly in flux. Thus, proficiency in 21st century skills is required especially for professionals. Five life and career skills necessary are: 1) flexibility and adaptability, 2) initiative and self-direction, 3) social and cross-cultural skills, 4) productivity and accountability, and 5) leadership and responsibility. In addition, nutritionist-dietitians as health care professionals or as workforce in the vast food and foodservice industries must possess novelty and dynamism – making one innovative, forceful and energetic to cope with changes and transitions. Building and maintaining solid and supportive relationships through friends and loved ones can make all the difference in how you weather tough times and sudden changes.

To build a winning attitude, you need to take care of your health. The real difference between men and women is energy. A strong will, a settled purpose, an invincible determination, can accomplish almost anything. A trusting heart and a receptive mind will inspire us with confidence and give us the inner assurance that we are endowed with wisdom, creativity and strength. How you respond to what happens to you – to be of value to the self, the community, and society is what determines how far you go in life. The first gift we can bestow on others is a good example. We are not made rich by what is in our pockets but what is in our hearts. The thing that counts is not what we know but the ability to use what we know. Although our circumstances may not be the best, always remember that God knows our needs and will lead us to the places where we can use our abilities and discover new ones; guide and direct us to new ways of expression.

Mabuhay and wishing you the best of luck and inspiration as you embark in your professional career!

ADELA JAMORABO-RUIZ, RND, MSN, DPA, PhD
President, 2013-2015