School canteens given guidelines to promote health

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2014 04:10 PM | Updated as of Jun 09 2014 12:10 AM

MANILA -- The government is focusing its efforts to restore the health of school children, and to reduce the rate of malnutrition and obesity in the country, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said on Sunday.

In a press conference, Coloma said the Palace has assigned different government agencies such as the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Health (DOH), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to work together to maintain proper health and nutrition in schools.

"'Yung DepEd sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga regional offices ay nagsasagawa ng patuloy na pag-aaral hinggil sa pagkakaroon ng malnutrisyon sa mga mag-aaral at nagtatag po ang ating Department of Education ng school-based feeding program. Nakabatay po sa database na kanilang nalikom. Ang mga programa pong ito ay naglalayon na ibalik sa normal na kalagayang pang-nutrisyon ang ating mga kabataang mag-aaral," he said.

Coloma added that school canteens in the country were already given orders to follow specific guidelines to help promote health among students.

"Maging 'yung mga school canteens ay binigyan na po ng mga guidelines para ma-observe po 'yung mga patakaran katulad ng pagbabawal ng mga junk food na hindi mainam sa kalusugan ng mga kabataan. 'Yun pong serving ng nutrient-rich foods katulad ng mga prutas, gulay, at fortified products at 'yung pagsingil ng risonableng presyo, pagkakaroon ng malinis na mga lugar at pasilidad para maging mainam ang nutrisyon ng ating mga kabataan," he said.

'Yon pong sinasabing school-based feeding program, pinapatupad po 'yon sa loob ng 120 araw at pagkatapos ng pag-release ng standardized malunggay recipe, at meron po silang tinatawag na 20-day cycle menu, at ang nationwide implementation ay pinopondohan ng General Appropriations Act. Ang pangkalahatang budget para diyan ay P1.08 billion," Coloma said.

The DSWD and local government units will also implement supplementary feeding programs to promote health even outside of school.

Aside from malnutrition, the government is also focusing on decreasing the number of overweight and obese Filipinos.

Based on 2008 statistics, 25% of Filipinos are overweight, while 5% are obese.

"Kaya 'yon po ang mga inisyatiba ng ating pamahalaan. Meron na pong mga naghain ng panukalang batas sa Kamara at sa Senado. Hinihintay po natin na magbunga 'yung kanilang pagpupunyagi na magpasa ng batas para magkaroon po ng masiglang programa sa pagkontrol ng pagiging overweight at obese ng ating mga mamamayan," Coloma said.