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‘Nutribun’ returns for Manila kids

/ 12:47 AM July 26, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—The vitamin-enriched bread of the 1970s are back to fill students’ tummies in Manila.

The local government is reviving the “nutribun” program to address persisting malnutrition problem among children in the city, through an executive order recently signed by Mayor Joseph Estrada.

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In an interview Friday, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno said the latest data showed that at least 7,500 students from Grade 1 to 6 in Manila public schools had been found to be “severely malnourished,” making them the target of the feeding program he himself experienced as a boy during the Marcos regime.

For its pilot run, the program will give out nutribuns and milk packs to an initial batch of 2,000 pupils at Corazon Aquino Elementary School in Baseco compound in Tondo, one of Manila’s poorest areas, every day for 120 days.

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The pupils would be weighed after 120 days and “we hope that the program has yielded positive results by then,” Moreno said. “If it yields negative results, we will think of another program that will help us address malnutrition.”

He said the city government had allotted P20 million for the program, which would run for a year as it expands to include more schools.

It should be considered a boon to the students’ parents since they no longer have to worry much about their children’s snacks at school, he added.

Apart from the nutribun program, Moreno said, the city government had set P200 million for the provision of uniforms and school supplies for public elementary and high school students. The free items will be distributed in the next few months. Jovic Yee

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TAGS: Children, Food, Isko Moreno, Manila, Nutribun, Philippines, Schools
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