About 900,000 Kindergarten to Grade 12 learners will get a free porridge daily through the Cebu provincial government’s simultaneous feeding program in all public schools, an education official on Thursday said.
Salustiano Jimenez, regional director of the Department of Education (DepEd)-Central Visayas, commended Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s initiative of holding a daily feeding for all kindergarten, elementary, junior and senior high school learners.
The feeding program will run until the end of 2023-2024 school year.
“Actually, it has been a perennial problem of the DepEd to take care of schoolchildren’s health. This program is aimed to solve the problem of malnutrition targeting not only a few but all learners,” Jimenez told the Philippine News Agency.
He cited the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) for supporting the provincial government’s effort that would benefit the schoolchildren, especially those who are facing difficulties in understanding their lessons due to malnutrition.
On Wednesday, the governor led the launching of the program at the Tabogon Central School, where 800 learners were fed with porridge. The event was simultaneously done in 1,494 public elementary and secondary schools in Cebu province.
Under the program, the provincial government will feed the children daily with porridge.
At the event, Garcia announced that San Miguel Food and Beverage Inc. showed its interest in supporting the program by providing the 1,494 public elementary and secondary schools in Cebu province with dressed chicken.
“I hope that here in this number one province in the whole country, there are no more learners who go to school, try to listen to the lesson but they cannot understand because their stomachs are empty, their stomachs are rumbling,” Garcia said.
According to COA’s 2022 annual financial report, Cebu continues to maintain its lead among the 81 provinces, with assets reaching PHP235.7 billion or an increase of PHP20.43 billion from the previous year’s PHP215 billion. (PNA)