Issue of August 5, 2018
Mt. Province

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DepEd launches feeding program
by Pamela Mariz Geminiano / PNA

The Department of Education has launched the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) in the Cordillera, which is  aimed at improving the classroom attendance and performance of students in public schools.

The regional launch was conducted on July 23 at Buyagan Elementary School in La Trinidad, Benguet. 

DepEd-Cordillera Information Officer Georaloy Palao-ay said the program will benefit learners from Kindergarten to grade 6 in the region.

Palao-ay said not all students would benefit from the school feeding program, as schools division offices would prioritize areas that are most in need.

He added schools in Abra and Apayao would be prioritized, as the National Nutrition Council has identified these provinces to have many undernourished school children.

He said the program hopes to encourage students to attend their classes every day and actively participate without having to deal with hunger.

“The program hopes to attain its objectives to improve classroom attendance of target beneficiaries to more than 85 percent per year,” Palao-ay said.

It was reported that one of the factors that prevent students from going to school is the lack of baon (home-packed meal) to school.

The SBFP beneficiaries will be the severely wasted and wasted, and all Kinder in areas selected under the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN).

Aside from the feeding program, the DepEd will also provide iron supplements and multivitamins to school children in PPAN identified areas, specifically in Abra and Apayao.

Iron supplements will be given to children one to five years old and six to 11 years old anemic and underweight children.

Palao-ay added that anemia and iron deficiency is linked to impaired cognitive and development among children.

“The beneficiaries will be closely examined by the division medical officer for extensive medical examination and possible referral to rural health units if the learner needs a more serious medical attention,” Palao-ay said.

He, however, clarified that children who will be given iron and vitamin supplements would be required to submit their parents’ consent.

“Learners with no consent will be included in the master list, but will not be provided with supplementations until parent’s consent has been secured,” Palao-ay said.

They would still be given food, he said.

According to DepEd, the SBFP will improve the nutritional status of severely wasted, wasted, and all kindergarten pupils in PPAN areas for 120 feeding days.

It said it would also have de-worming of target beneficiaries prior to the feeding activity.

There will also be a daily hand washing and tooth brushing activities, as stipulated in DepEd Order 10, s. 2016, to promote hygiene.

An information campaign to promote health and nutrition information and awareness among target beneficiaries will be included in the K to 12 curriculum.

The program will also encourage the adoption of the Gulayan sa Paaralan Program (school vegetable garden) and backyard vegetable gardening to augment the feeding program and to complement the nutrition and poverty-reduction initiatives of the government.

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