Over 500,000 pupils suffering from severe malnutrition — DepEd

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Education Secretary Armin Luistro. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — While Christendom is feasting on holiday food, poverty pushes over half a million elementary pupils to severe malnutrition.

The Department of Education (DepEd) disclosed that 562,262 pupils in kindergarten and elementary levels (Grades 1 to 6) enrolled in public schools this year have been considered “severely wasted” based on a nutritional status report as of Aug. 31, 2012.

These pupils are the target beneficiaries of a school-based feeding program to restore them to health and to keep them in school.

The DepEd through its Health and Nutrition Center (HNC) said, however, it could only feed 42,372 schoolchildren, or 7.54 percent of the identified severely malnourished pupils, in 1,010 public elementary schools in 28 provinces.

For the feeding of more than half a million malnourished pupils, school officials and teachers should collaborate with their respective local governments, nongovernment organizations, parent-teacher associations and other community volunteers for support, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a recent directive.

Schools were also encouraged to plant malunggay (moringa) trees and establish vegetable gardens to source ingredients for the children’s hot meals.

The school-based feeding program used to address “short-term hunger” experienced by children who do not eat breakfast and/or walk long distances to reach school, resulting in their inattentiveness in class or in frequent absences.

But since its implementation in 1997, the feeding program has shifted to addressing the more serious problem of undernutrition among schoolchildren, the DepEd said.

DepEd said the feeding intervention has been targeting young pupils in the critical stage of mental and physical development and vulnerable to illnesses and malnutrition. The dropout rate is also higher among younger pupils.

Luistro said the feeding program aims to rehabilitate at least 70 per cent of the severely wasted schoolchildren back to normal nutritional status at the end of 100 to 120 feeding days.

The program also seeks to increase the children’s attendance by 85 to 100 per cent and to improve the children’s health values and behavior.

The DepEd said each hot meal would cost about P15 based on developed recipes using malunggay.

From being a breakfast feeding program, it has been renamed as a school-based feeding program so as not to limit the feeding to breakfast time and to let school officials decide when best to feed the children.

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  • opinyonlangpo

    So sad to know that half a million school kids are undernourished but glad to know that DepEd is doing something about it. Great.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AHYU6EQASUYJ4CCLMY3WPJYRL4 Malic of arabia

    Tama si Secretary.Several years back,may ginawang food program for kids.Nagkaroon ng controvesy because overpriced yung noodles,at sinabing fortified with malunggay and egg.Sana dina maulit muli ito.Lahat na kasi ng moves puro pera nasa isipan ng tao.At yung tutoong pakay ay napapabayaan.

  • wawa2172

    I guess the number of Secretary Luistro is to low, it is higher than that sir. I admire your concern about malnutrition of so many Filipino pupil but it should not only be remembered during Christmas. The government and its people has do a lot sacrifice to ease the life of the poor. We know that Deped is so busy working on K+12 to make our country be at par with international standard. But many things are forgotten, will majority of poor Filipinos be able to hurdle the tedious and much longer system of education. Will senior high school graduates enable the Filipinos to find work. All we know is that it will never guarantee that senior high graduate will find work, bakit po? Dahil sa kahirapan nang buhay ay di kakayanin nang mga mahihirap makapag aral. When K +12  will be implemented the requirement for job would be more than senior high as qualification. Industries will now become very selective and would choose those who have gone beyond senior high, maybe at least two years in college. Hindi kakayanin nang gutom na Filipino ang mag aaaral ng mahabang taon.  Di kakayanin nang butot balat na kalusugan nang mga bata. The 4P’s have limitation and a dead end. What now? What could we Filipinos contribute to make this innocent children with severe malnutrition case be helped. It’s our call mga kababayan ko. Huwag nating paniwalaan na di na nag hihirap ang mga Pinoy sabi ni Noy that made the headline then. It’s his reliable education secretary that could tell him straight in Noy’s face.,,milyon-milyon ang nagugutom. Sec Luistro paki sabi rin ito sa mga pari and simbahan. Milyon-milyon ang Pinoy  na malalaki ang tiyan, malalim ang mga mata at nabubuhay sa hirap.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AHYU6EQASUYJ4CCLMY3WPJYRL4 Malic of arabia

    Minsan nagkakaroon ng malnutrition sa liblib na lugar dahil sa katamaran.Ang bata ng kumakain ng sapat na gulay ay mas healthy than kids in urban area na mostly sausage,ham ang kinakain. may alternative food if di maka kain ng meat at fish ang bata.Ang kulang sa kids sa remote area is health care.Sana dun naman ibuhos ang Pork Barreles ng mga Politico.Kaso sa sarili nilang bank account karamihan ang punta,kasama mga family at in Laws.

  • UrHONOR

    >>>Over 500,000 pupils suffering from severe malnutrition — DepEd<<<

    NAPIPIHO ko na ang RCC ay tutulong ng MALAKING-MALAKI sa suliraning ito sa dami ng pera nila.  At napipiho ko din na malaking ma-itutulong ng RH bill kapag ito ay naging batas na.

    Maligayang bati sa lahat!

  • AlexanderAmproz

    Same number as obese elite’s ?

    Should jail those guilty obese’s to save the innocents, for a country better future.

  • boybakal

    The Department of Education disclosed that 562,262 pupils in kindergarten and elementary levels (Grades 1 to 6) enrolled in public school..

    This is what I like in DepEd…exact figure, may putal pa.
    Feeding malnourished children during school break is indeed good idea.
    Though small supplement, it will help.
    But once back at home, kanin ulit walang ulam or patis at tuyo

  • KurakotNaPinoy

    Yan ang hirap kapag anak ng anak tapos walang maipakain…

    Yan ang hirap kapag may Pork Barrel na kinukurakot ang mga “legislators” natin. Di sa bayan napupunta ang 30% na tax na binabayad namin plus 12% EVAT sa lahat ng gastos…

    Pass the FoI bill and abolish pork barrel now!!!

  • basilionisisa

    matagal nang ganyan, at least ngayon malakas na ang loob ng DepEd na ibrodkast, baka nga naman may kahinatnang mabuti para sa mga bata.

    nung nasa elem ako (a VERY long time ago) may libreng milk sa umaga ang mga public elem students, also once a month (yata) libreng isang salop ng bigas sa selected students. sana ibalik ito.

    eto na ang magandang kahihinatnan ng RH Bill, (not as quickly of course, in due time) at ng Sin Tax, sana may mapunta dito sa project ‘Pakain’ na ito.

  • imongredneck

    Ladies and gentlemen of the Philippine politics, along with those who are so eloquent with their views on the foregone debate on the RH bill and now on divorce. This is where you all should put all your intellectual capabilities. Talk is cheap; be proactive. These are young souls, half a million of them, and I’m sure this is just a tip of a massive iceberg. Stop the talks, do something.
    Inaction now is genocide.

    • AlexanderAmproz

      Corruption should be counted in children’s death.

      Erap alone steal enough money to eradicate definitely TB from the Country, 
      it’s more than thirty thousands death a Year, 
      it show how criminal and selfish he was, how lenient Pilipino peoples are.

      With Ate Glue it was much worst.

      Pilipino’s, with a special attention for the Clergy and elites are excellent in robbery, organizing Death Squad, chain saw massacres and Children’s spoliations.
      What is amazing is the energy left for an unlimited arrogance without a single remorse, among the sixty countries I visited, none that dirty !

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3PZ7GV74BHRUNQAYF25RQPTNQE kickserve

    Please address the high prevalence rate of soil-transmitted helminthiasis among schoolchildren. It is one of the major causes of malnutrition. It causes anemia, loss of appetite and lack of sleep resulting to poor concentrating capability and below average school performance.

  • Dennis Blancaflor

    over 500,000 students suffering from severe malnutrition??? Anong gingagawa ng CCT program? Dapat wala ng estudyante na malnourished dahil may perang pangdole-out sa mga mahihirap na pamilya di ba? anlabo….

  • Hey_Dudes

    Be it half a million or a million more malnourished children out there , please don’t bother telling the bishops of CBCP.  They can’t be bothered with such mundane issue.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    This is only the tip of one of the corruptions icebergs,
    below there are uncountable piles of dead’s and sufferances done by planed Trapos Gang’s

  • Your_King

    These 500,000 children suffering from malnutrition are the ones documented but we’re sure there are still more undocumented. It’s sad that children have to suffer hunger during the holidays. Aquino brags about the gifts he’s given the Philippines by him signing a couple of papers turning bills into laws but he forgets about all the poverty stricken Filipinos and children who are malnourished and have no food. You ask him about these poor children and he’ll just make excuses and change the topic.

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