Press Release
April 5, 2010


NAGA CITY, CAMARINES SUR - Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. today said he will push for the modernization of the school health and nutrition program (SHNP) of the government to provide medical and dental equipment and medicines and maintain supplementary feeding programs for nutritionally deprived children.

"Great emphasis has always been given to the provision of facilities, teaching materials, new equipment and technology, and on the upgrading of teachers' competencies for the attainment of quality basic education, but it will fail if the child is handicapped and his potential for learning is low," the senator stated.

Bong Revilla, who has other pending bills regarding child welfare and education before the Senate, believed that school health and nutrition are two of the important factors in education.

He cited a 1995 study of school and nutrition profile wherein children have low nutrition status and afflicted with ailments, such as eye and ear defects, tuberculosis and others.

"The same study concluded that low pupil school attendance equated to poor health and nutrition facilities," the senator said as he further explained that the state of children's health and nutritional status determines their active learning capacities.

During a one-day visit here in Camarines Sur, the senator lauded the local officials and public school teachers of Naga City for initiating a program that improved the educational system in the city by including the health improvement of the children.

Dubbed as Sanggawadan, the project gives rice subsidy to 2,200 poor pupils. Each child, who attended class, gets half a kilo of rice.

According to the senator, such initiative has inspired him to file Senate Bill 789, which aims to modernize the school health and nutrition program.

If enacted into law, Bong Revilla explained that a comprehensive health care will be provided to elementary and high school students. "If we will be fortunate to be reelected in the Senate, we will push again the passage of this bill," he said.

He added that P200 million will be appropriated to give full support to school health and nutrition projects and to establish and maintain adequate health and sanitation facilities like school clinics, canteens, water supply, sanitation toilets and garbage disposal in schools.

The budget will also be used in projects that will educate parents to provide their children with proper health care and to perform effective parenting to prevent drug abuse.

"The State has responsibility to promote and protect physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being of the youth. The bill provides the protection of right to health of the people," the senator concluded.

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