By JACK C. GADAINGAN
September 4, 2019
GOVERNMENT CONTER, Palo, Leyte – The Department of Education (DepEd) has consolidated all its health programs, plans, policies, and activities for their effective and efficient implementation at the school level into “Oplan Kalusugan.”
Included in this convergence of interventions are five flagship programs namely: 1. The major school health and nutrition program specifically the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP); 2. National Drug Education Program (NDEP); 3. Adolescent Reproductive Health Education (ARH); 4. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools (WinS); and 4. Medical, Dental, and Nursing Services; and 5. Mental Health Program.
Dr. Ronelo Al K. Firmo, Leyte Schools Division superintendent, revealed this in his welcome address during the 45th Nutrition Month Celebration Culmination and Awarding Ceremonies held at the DepEd Leyte Division Gymnasium, here on July 30, 2019.
According to Firmo, in regards to school-based feeding program the agency funds public schools for a 120 feeding-day period, and the Leyte Division has already released funds for the first 120 days feeding program of schools under its jurisdiction, further asking the BNSs present to provide guidance to school principals on what healthy foods to cook, when they can.
He said that part of the school-based feeding program is the Gulayan sa Paaralan, where pupils are introduced early to learn on vegetable and food production; as well as ensuring that only healthy foods are made available in school canteens through DepED Order No. 13, s. 2017 or “Policy and Guidelines on Healthy Food and Beverage Choices in Schools and in DepEd Offices,” Firmo added.
It was further gathered that the National Drug Education Program (NDEP), is included as among the health interventions as problems on illegal drugs pose as a bigger threat to the security and welfare of the youth and students; the Adolescent Reproductive Health Education (ARH), to address the burgeoning problem of teenage pregnancies, where many misguided youths are enticed into risky sex behavior – resulting on unwanted pregnancies causing the girls to drop-out of school, lessening their chances of a better future;
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools, aims to provide children with clean water to use, as well as to teach them the importance of being clean and on cleaning by themselves; Medical, Dental, and Nursing Services is to maintain and improve the health of schoolchildren and school personnel through the prevention and control of diseases; and Mental Health Program, due that it was observed a number of children are actually suffering from mental problems.