THE National Nutrition Council (NNC) on Saturday lauded different national government agencies and non-government organizations (NGO) for their efforts that resulted to the recent drop of malnutrition cases in Region 12. Araceli Latonio, NNC-12 Regional Program Coordinator, said that regional offices of the Department of Agriculture and various NGOs conducted activities that reduced malnutrition rates in the region. Latonio said the DA’s Gulayan sa Paaralan program in school campuses served as a source of fresh and nutritious vegetables for students and teachers. DA-12 has initiated activities in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) to address the prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in the region. Aside from schools, DA also carried out its Gulayan program for women-detainees in North Cotabato province and General Santos City in collaboration with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). Latonio said that malnutrition rate in Soccsksargen , composed of the provinces of South and North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Saranggani and the cities of Cotabato, Tacurong, Koronadal, Kidapawan and General Santos, dropped to 8.29 percent in 2012 from 9.31 percent in 2011.The region’s malnutrition rate reached 20.13 percent in 2004. By province, Sultan Kudarat had the highest malnutrition rate composing of 9,834 under-nourished children.