Press Release
October 6, 2006

October is School Health Month

Filed a bill to modernize and increase funding for the program

Senate President Manny Villar, who has long expressed concern over the seemingly malnourished condition of most Filipino students all over the country, hopes that the National School Health and Nutrition Congress of the Department of Education (DepEd) this week (Oct. 9-12) would result to concrete measures to implement an efficient school-based health and nutrition program.

"Malnourishment is increasingly becoming prevalent among Filipino schoolchildren. It was reported that there are now close to 3.67 million malnourished children nationwide or about one-fourth of all schoolchildren," cites Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party.

To commemorate October as School Health Month, DepEd is slated to discuss possible strategies for sustained school health and nutrition development in their four-day congress in order to improve the health and nutrition state of school children.

As it is however, according to Villar, there is an urgent already to modernize and upgrade the School Health and Nutrition Program (SHNP) of the DepEd to maximize its efficiency. In line with this, Villar recently filed Senate Bill (SB) 2384 or an act providing for the modernization of the SHNP of the DepEd. According to Villar, "SHNP is designed to promote, protect and maintain the health and nutritional well-being of the various sectors of elementary and secondary educational institutions, thus they play a crucial role in addressing malnutrition among Filipino schoolchildren."

Villar also filed Senate Bill 2403 or The Nutripack Act, which seeks to institutionalize a nutrient supplementing or feeding program similar to the nutribun feeding program during the 1970s-80s to augment the dietary needs primarily of schoolchildren and secondarily of pregnant women, nursing mothers and the elderly. As an incentive, supporters of nutripack feeding program shall be given due tax credit equivalent to 100% of their contribution.

"We should not shrug off comments by nutrition and education experts about the direct correlation of proper nutrition and enhanced learning capabilities in children. If we really want Filipino children to grow up to be intelligent people, we should help provide adequate nutrition to them," adds Villar.

News Latest News Feed