The Philippine Carabao Center-Ubay Stock Farm (PCC-USF) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Central Visayas kicked off on Monday a school-based milk feeding program in the southern city of Carcar, Cebu, benefiting nearly 5,000 learners.
The Department of Education (DepEd)-Carcar City Division led a milk toasting ceremony at the Carcar City Central Elementary School to mark the start of the feeding program, after which bottles of milk were distributed to parents to bring home to their children.
The 10-day milk feeding program is a component of the school-based feeding program in accordance with the implementation of Republic Act 11037, the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018.
PCC-USF, through the Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LMPC) in Pinamungahan, Cebu, signed an agreement with the different DepEd school divisions in Cebu to supply the milk packs intended for the milk feeding.
“The agreement entered with DA-PCC, LMPC and DepEd will improve the livelihood and increase the income of our dairy farmers,” said Jovilyn Traya, a PCC-USF representative.
Nezza Rianne Saraña, focal person for Carcar City’s School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP), said the milk feeding program will benefit a total of 4,672 learners from kindergarten to elementary who are undernourished.
“These learners we selected for the milk feeding are those that are wasted and severely wasted. Some of these children are not used to drinking fresh milk (from carabao’s milk), so we encourage them to drink half of the ration or small intake at a time to avoid lactose intolerance,” Saraña added.
She explained that providing the undernourished children with milk will eventually develop and improve their nutritional status and school performance.
DA-7 regional technical director Joel Elumba expressed his full support to the program especially during this time of pandemic, when food must always be available and accessible at all times, citing the recent observance of the World Food Day. (PNA)