Education and Home

DepEd: 1.7 million students undernourished

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The guidelines for the implementation of the school-based feeding program this year showed that over 532,000 students are classified as severely wasted, while another 1.25 million students are classified as wasted.

The number of undernourished students is based on the baseline nutritional assessment conducted last year.

Data showed that Region 4-A has the highest number of undernourished students at 267,215; followed by Region 6 at 173,492; Metro Manila at 169,872; Region 5 at 161,534; and Region 3 at 185,609.

The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) has the lowest number of undernourished students at 6,736, followed by Region 13 at 40,824; Region 2 at 44,932; Region 9 at 72,784; and Region 10 at 73,702.

DepEd has allocated P3.8 billion for the implementation of the school-based feeding program this year.

Started in 2010, the program aims to improve classroom attendance and the nutritional status of Filipino students by the end of at least 120 feeding days.

It also seeks to promote health and nutrition information among target beneficiaries and encourage schools to develop backyard vegetable gardening to augment the nutrition and poverty-reduction initiatives of the government.

The feeding program in schools will begin not later than July 31, according to the guidelines.

DepEd also allocated over P995 million for the inclusion of kindergarten students in priority areas.

These include select division offices in Regions 2, 3, 4-B, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, CARAGA, CAR and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The priority areas are those identified in the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition to address stunting among Filipino youth.

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