October 4, Dumaguete City – The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-FNRI) has deployed a team of data collectors to Region 7, starting with Negros Oriental, as part of the on-going Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS).
The survey team aims to cover 107 barangays in all 6 cities and 19 municipalities in the province during their deployment from September 20-October 31, 2021. The DOST-FNRI obtained the household listing from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which employed random sampling technique to identify select barangays and households as respondents of the said survey.
The main objective of the ENNS is to provide empirical data on the nutrition and health status of Filipinos for planning nutrition and development programs, and for timely policy decisions at the national, regional and provincial/HUC levels. The data are categorized as follows: anthropometric, biochemical, clinical and health, dietary, food security, infant and young child feeding, government program participation, mental health and nutrition, and socio-economic.
The survey team consists of 42 field researchers. They arrived on 20 September 2021 in Dumaguete City, where they are collecting data from households and individuals in cooperation with city and barangay personnel.
Despite the pandemic, DOST-FNRI pushed through with the conduct of the survey. Safeguards are in place to protect both the researchers and the respondents from contracting COVID-19.
“The survey team observes and implements health protocols to prevent transmission of covid among researchers and their respondents. The participants wear PPEs like face masks and face shield and instruments. Prior to starting interviews and measurements, the field researchers ask respondents to answer the health checklist and check temperature. Measuring instruments are disinfected every after use of 1 respondent. Phone interview is also done for other questionnaires to minimize contact”, said Ms. Charina A. Javier, Science Research Specialist II and Team Coordinator of the DOST-FNRI ENNS Team for Negros Oriental.
The result of the ENNS is expected to have a positive impact on the nutrition programs of the LGUs.
“The provincial government will have local data on food, nutrition and health. The regular data that the LGUs usually have is from Operation Timbang Plus (OPT Plus) but the ENNS will provide nutritional status for all age groups from pregnant, young children up to elderly, micronutrient status, household food security and other information on health such as smoking and alcohol consumption practices, program participation and others”, added Ms. Javier.
According to Mr. James Andrei Justin Pascual Sy, DOST-FNRI Science Research Specialist I and member of ENNS Team, the result of the survey will be disseminated the following year. Concerned officials and guests are virtually invited to this event.
To ensure the successful conduct of the ENNS, both DOST Negros Oriental and the Provincial Nutrition Council of Negros Oriental coordinated with the DOST-FNRI and the LGUs.
“DOST Negros Oriental sent the coordination letters from DOST-FNRI to the various LGUs informing them of the schedule of the ENNS. We helped gather the contact details and other significant information of the barangays to be surveyed through the collection of pre-survey notes as accomplished by the municipal and health offices,” said Atty. Gilbert R. Arbon, Provincial S&T Director of DOST Negros Oriental.
“The Provincial Nutrition Council of Negros Oriental assisted in the information dissemination to concerned LGUs regarding the ENNS, assisted in facilitating the acceptance and approval of the team’s S-Pass, and prepared list of the survey team for easy passage upon their arrival in Sibulan Airport”, said Ms. Antonieta Diaz Delfino, Nutrition Program Coordinator of Negros Oriental.
Aside from Negros Oriental, DOST-FNRI will also survey the nutrition situation of Cebu City and Bohol Province in Central Visayas.
To note, the ENNS takes its legal mandates from Executive Order No. 128 series of 1987 and Executive Order 352 series of 1996. It is a comprehensive survey conducted every five years since 1978-2013. In 2018, the survey evolved into ENNS to include provincial/HUC components to respond to the clamor of the LGUs, Congress and other stakeholders to have data for their local development plan. In addition, the ENNS also expanded to three-year period of data collection with the adoption of the new Master Sample of the PSA. (Engr. Reinhold Jek Y. Abing, Science Research Specialist II/S&T Media Service – DOST Negros Oriental)