NDAP Activities: Good Governance, Nutrition Advocacy and Responding to Change and Challenges

As member of ICDA and AFDA, the NDAP regularly send representatives to the International Congress of Dietetics and the Asian Congress of Dietetics. In the last two years, NDAP supported and sponsored seminars on Leadership, Research, Nutrition and Culinary Skills Enhancement Training Program and benchmarking of clinical practice guidelines for renal, diabetes and cardio for clinical dietitian under the Hospital Dietetics Section. It participated in the development of a new Filipino Food Guide (Pinggang Pinoy), a plate-based representation of what a Filipino adult should consume on a per meal basis to meet the body’s energy and nutrient needs.

To increase membership, a discounted fee for 3-years and 5-years was continued; updated its journal and newsletter publications and enhanced social media presence. The NDAP Face Book account has been utilized for announcements, membership feedback and information dissemination. The website was updated and new features were included in 2014.

For good governance, NDAP revitalized the Chapters with information dissemination visits and CPD seminars and updates. “The Nutrition Expert” PowerPoint presentation about the organization was approved by the Board in 2013 as IEC material for NDAP Chapters and other stakeholders. Other equally important outputs were the approval of NDAP organizational chart; updated policy manual on international participation, grants-in-aids, and waived registration for conventions; and the revised guidelines for NDAP Committees and Section Chairs.

NDAP supports the yearly Nutrition Month Celebration in July through sponsorship of speakers and/or seminars, national advocacy and campaign like exclusive breastfeeding, the dissemination and use of the 2012 NGF (Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos) and the Department of Health movement Pilipinas Go4Health that aims to encourage people to practice healthy living through proper nutrition, physical activities, and prevention of smoking and alcohol consumption. It maintains linkages with the Philippine Heart Association, the Philippine Lipid and Atherosclerosis Society, the Philippine Society of Hypertension, the Philippine Association of Diabetes Educators, the Philippine Association for the Study of Overweight and Obesity, the Philippine Thyroid Council, and Diabetes Philippines.

The NDAP serves membership in the Philippine Chamber of Health, the Council of Health Agencies of the Philippines, Exercise is Medicine, Technical Committee on Nutrition & Dietetics Education in the Commission on Higher Education (TCNDE-CHED), the Continuing Professional Development Council on Nutrition & Dietetics in the Professional Regulation Commission (CPDCND-PRC) and the Sub-Committee on Nutrition for Special Dietary Uses in the Food and Drug Administration. The passage of the "Food Safety Act of 2013“ will harness the expertise of nutritionist-dietitians in the protection of consumers as it set the benchmark for food safety in various stages from the harvest to manufacturing, processing, handling, packaging, distribution, marketing, and food preparation until consumption.

The TCNDE is responsible for the revisit, review and revision of higher education curricula in Nutrition and Dietetics. Nutrition is one of the Priority Courses of CHED from 2014 until 2018 based on national development plans and manpower demand. The CPDCND implements the policies and guidelines on continuing education and development of nutrition-dietetics professionals under the Professional Regulation Commission. It also coordinates with other professional boards on the empowerment of professionals towards the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 and on the implementation of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements.

To update the practice of Nutrition-Dietetics, the NDAP is lobbying for the passage of a new law in recognition of the important role of registered nutritionist-dietitians (RND) in human development and seeks to improve the practice of the profession by instituting reforms to ensure the welfare, protection and improvement of the RND profession. Senate Bill 2356 and House Bill 4742 were filed by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV and Congressman Neri J. Colmenares, respectively. Salient features include expansion of the areas of practice, better ratio of dietitians to patients in hospitals, more employment in local government units based on population served and better pay scale.