DepEd targets over 40,000 severely-wasted pupils for feeding program

THE Department of Education’s school-based feeding program (SBFP) targets over 42,000 severely-wasted beneficiaries in the person of children suffering from undernutrition to bring them back to health and improve their school performance.

Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said the feeding program which is being implemented since October 2012 up to March 2013 provides nutritious meals to selected pupils suffering from severe malnutrition for 100 to 120 feeding days.

“Our specific target here are children who come to school on an empty stomach which results to absenteeism or poor school performance. This short-term hunger syndrome is observed among public elementary school children who do not eat breakfast or walk long hours to reach school,” Luistro explained.

Initially called breakfast feeding program, it was renamed SBFP so as not to limit the feeding to breakfast only and so that schools can decide what time to conduct the feeding program that will best address the nutritional needs of learners. It targets to cover some 42, 372 kindergarten to Grade 6 pupils from identified severely wasted children based on the nutritional status report of August 31, 2012. It aims to rehabilitate at least 70% of the severely-wasted beneficiaries to normal nutritional status at the end of the feeding days.

“At the end of the day, we want these target school children to improve their classroom attendance to up to 100% by improving their health and nutritional status,” Luistro added.

The SBFP has developed standardized recipes using malunggay and a 20-day cycle menu utilizing locally-grown vegetables produced from school gardens.

Schools not identified as SBFP beneficiaries may collaborate with the local government unit, non-government organizations, parent- teachers associations and other community stakeholders for the implementation of similar feeding programs. (DepEd)

PGMA’s breastfeeding program ushers new direction

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s policies and programs increased the exclusive breastfeeding rate almost four times and ushered in a new direction for breastfeeding as an important part of public healthcare and national development.

Dra. Elvira Henares-Esguerra, founding president of Children for Breastfeeding Inc. (CfB), said the President’s compassion and political will saved breastfeeding from the brink of extinction, reversing 20 years of frustration from among its advocates.

The Chief Executive received last Monday a copy of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) promoting the importance of breastfeeding between the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and technology (DOST) and the Children for Breastfeeding Inc. (CfB). The MOU was presented to her by Esguerra and PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime Montoya in simple ceremonies last Monday morning at Malacanang’s Rizal Hall.

Esguerra said the MOU further promotes researches in breastfeeding that include the intake of virgin coconut oil for breastfeeding mothers to increase the anti-microbial properties of human breast milk.

In 2005, the President issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1113 promulgating the yearly celebration of World Breastfeeding Week every August 1-7. (PIA-Bohol)

El Niño forces feed wheat imports

The prolonged dry spell is forcing the private sector to import a large volume of feed wheat from Thailand, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday.

Agriculture Undersecretary Salvador Salacup said that since January, local livestock producers and feed millers have been having a hard time sourcing corn, the main ingredient in livestock feeds.

Corn has been one of the crops that have been hardest hit by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

He said that 700,000 metric tons of feed wheat would be imported by the private sector until June this year. Of the 700,000 metric tons, 300,000 metric tons have come in, Salacup said.

He clarified that unlike sugar, the importation of feed wheat by the private sector has no government restriction but the importers have to pay about 7-percent tariff as stipulated under the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA).

On Tuesday, the Agriculture department announced that the dry spell has caused damage to crops amounting to P3.77 billion, with corn being the worst hit at P2 billion, followed by palay (unhusked rice) with P1.7 billion. (PIA-Bohol)

Tarsier stop operators agree to stop feeding

TARSIER establishment operators have committed to stop feeding and promised more actions to protect and conserve the tarsiers during the recent technical conference with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources authorities here recently.

According to PENRO Nestor Canda, he would endorse the agreements they have forged with the tarsier establishment operators in Loboc to the provincial legislators as inputs to guide them in their future action.

Canda claimed the DENR has asked for the conference as a way of probing on the recent complaint of tarsier abuse filed by a tourist to the SP Tourism Committee and consequently at the Provincial Tourism Council.

The complainant, who took a video footage of how a group of Asian tourists poked midribs at the tarsiers was allegedly threatened by a Cebu-based tour guide whom she named as Jacinto Tan.

Over the generated alarm, Boholano groups vowed separate probes on the incident as Bohol top environment officer said he reviewed the stipulations of the wildlife permits issued to operators during the conference.

Claiming that the incident was unfortunate, he reported that the operators have committed to pro-conservation actions to keep their tarsiers on display.

Aside form strict observance of no feeding policy, operators also vowed to strictly police so that the rare animals are not touched or that taking pictures would use no flash bulbs.

An agreed carrying capacity of the establishment would be implemented it would now limit the number of tourists in one tarsier interaction, he said.

And to get that much needed vigilance, operators are now vowing to monitor each other’s wildlife farms and report incidents of abuse.

Over this, he said it may not be long before tarsier operators can organize themselves to better safeguard the wild animals they keep, Canda reports.

The long term vision is to get them to adopt a common sanctuary for tarsier viewing so they could unify and implement the agreements to guests, operators agreed. (PIA)

DOH: Breastfeed your babies during emergencies

“Breastfeeding saves lives. It has become a life-saving intervention that provides the greatest protection for infants who are most vulnerable to disease and death in emergency situations.” This was the information disclosed by the Department of Health (DOH).

Like the latest typhoon “Ondoy” that hit Luzon and other provinces in the country, there is a limited access to clean drinking water, fuel and utensils that put infants and children at risk of diarrhea, which has become the 10th leading cause of deaths among infants.

Breastfeeding and the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) program. are among the initiatives adopted by the DOH to meet the commitment of the Philippines to the Millennium Development Goals in the war against infant deaths and malnutrition. (PIA)

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