A total of 18,507 undernourished pupils in Kindergarten to Grade 6 are set to benefit from a 21-day milk feeding project in select municipalities in Bukidnon. The project will commence in March.
Said initiative will be made possible with the inking of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Mindanao University (DA-PCC at CMU), Department of Education-Division of Bukidnon, and the Muleta Side Buffalo Association (MUSBUDA) to implement the School-based Milk Feeding Program (SBFP) that was initially set in 2020 but was deferred due to the pandemic.
Target beneficiaries in Kindergarten to Grade 6 will each receive 200 ml toned carabao’s milk daily for at least 20 feeding days. This program has a total budget of Php7,135,558.92 covering 25 schools in the municipalities of Manolo Fortich, Lantapan, Sumilao, Cabanglasan, Impasug-ong, Kisolon, Don Carlos, Damulog, and Kadingilan.
DA-PCC at CMU Director Dr. Lowell Paraguas and Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Randolph Tortola, and School Division Nurse Juniel Rey Abadiano, and MUSBUDA Chairperson Carlo Magno Abellanosa led the MOA signing at the Dairy Box Bukidnon, Don Carlos, Bukidnon last February 13.
Director Paraguas said this agreement will directly support Republic Act 11037 or the Masustansyang Pagkain sa Batang Pilipino Act, which aims to address undernourishment among public day care, kindergarten and elementary pupils nationwide.
He added this undertaking will not only help undernourished children but it will also give an opportunity for dairy cooperatives and associations to have a sustainable livelihood.
Meanwhile, Abellanosa expressed his gratitude on behalf of MUSBUDA saying that it values the support that their association has been getting from DA-PCC and for staying true to its mandate of helping carapreneurs.
He said the Agency has not only helped smallhold farmers like them but have also significantly ushered enhanced nutrition in their communities because of its unwavering service to promote milk drinking in Bukidnon.
The activity was also participated in by Dr. Elena S. Paraguas, DA-PCC at CMU CBED program coordinator, and Nida Abellanosa, MUSBUDA secretary.