DepEd to enroll public school students to feeding program
At present, the government’s feeding program is focused on severely wasted and malnourished children.
Miguel De Guzman
DepEd to enroll public school students to feeding program
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — After Sen. Cynthia Villar blamed the lack of nutrition of Filipino students for their poor academic performance, the Department of Education (DepEd) is looking at enrolling all public school students in its feeding program.

At present, the government’s feeding program is focused on severely wasted and malnourished children.

“We want all students enrolled in the feeding program because it has become a status issue. There are children who feel embarrassed when they are included in the feeding program because that means they are stunted, malnourished and poor,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said over radio dzBB.

However, she said the agency needs additional budget to be able to provide nutritious meals for all public school students nationwide.

Meanwhile, in response to Villar’s claim that the lack of affordable milk should also be blamed for the learners’ lack of intelligence, Briones said some students are lactose intolerant or can’t digest lactose.

She said milk substitutes are being included in public schools’ feeding program.

“The nutrition that we get from milk is really important but there are children who are lactose intolerant,” she said.

“We have milk substitutes, the elements and nutrition they could get from milk, they could also get these from egg, vegetable and all that. But milk is a very rich source of nutrition for growing children,” Briones said.

Villar criticized the Philippine Carabao Center and the National Dairy Authority for the lack of affordable milk in the country.

FEEDING PROGRAM
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