MANILA, Jan. 9 (Mabuhay) – The Department of Education (DepEd) received 1,000 sacks of rice donated by the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) in support of DepEd’s school-based feeding program in areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.
Both parties signed a memorandum of agreement clarifying details of said donation.
The rice will be distributed across the affected areas for the implementation of a month-long emergency feeding program for school children. Region 8 will receive the largest bulk with 400 sacks; Region 6, 300; Northern Cebu, 200, while Northern Palawan will receive 100 sacks. The distribution has been set according to the needs as determined by DepEd regional offices.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that the 1,000 sacks of rice are very helpful because not only will it fulfill the first few components of the school-based feeding program, it will also boost the attendance of school children. “In most schools, the attendance during the first week of class resumption was at 30 percent, by the succeeding weeks, though, we started to see an increase. When you give children something extra, like school kits and feeding programs, we motivate them to go back to school. We go over 80 percent.”
Luistro also brought PDRF up to speed with the ongoing progress of the rehabilitation of public schools: “We opened classes mostly in temporary learning spaces; the construction for that was very quick because we used indigenous materials. We are still looking into suitable locations within the area to build permanent classrooms on; we already have the budget for that and we hope to begin construction by March. What we would need help with is in terms of classroom repairs.”
An approximate of 26,000-27,000 students are expected to be benefited by this program. PDRF will procure the 1,000 sacks of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) in behalf of DepEd; the delivery, distribution, and execution of the school-based feeding program will then commence immediately after. (MNS)