BLT of WVCST Extension Services Div _ Making Progress

            The BLT or Busog Lusog Talino Health and Nutrition Thrust of WVCST Extension Services Division in cooperation with Jollibee Group Foundation and the Local Government Unit, is making progress with almost 50% of its recipients gained Normal Body Mass Index from being Severely Wasted Body Mass Index during the midyear measure for this school year 2013-2014.

                Based on the study made by ESD on 90 school recipients from the City and Province of Iloilo, from its Baseline implementation with 2,286 pupils (68%) Wasted (Low weight) and 1,077 pupils (32%) Severely Wasted (Malnourished), 48% or 1,586 of these pupils now weigh normal. Meanwhile, there are 1,289 pupils or 39% are still in the wasted Category, and only 429 pupils or 13% are left in the Severely Wasted Category.

                                The WVCST Extension Services Division has become an area implementing partner of Jollibee Group Foundation and the Local Government Unit in combating malnutrition in the country.  This is a school feeding program which is carried out to public school pupils from Grades 1 to 2 which were pointed out to belong to the Wasted and Severely Wasted Body Mass Index. Aside from the feeding program, the group also conducts lectures and seminars to pupils as well as to parents especially in facilitating the feeding program. Though there are feeding program facilitators, the parents are the ones tasked to prepare and cook low cost (Php 11 per meal, per child) but healthy meals for the pupils. The feeding runs for 136 days, from Monday to Friday, but the program continues with activities designed to educate the parents on food safety, meal planning and budgeting while values formation are taught to the pupils. A result assessment is then conducted. The Jollibee Group Foundation sponsored 75% of the program budget for the first year, and 50% for the 2nd year. In the succeeding years they provided four personnel as facilitators to oversee the activities.  The Local Government also sponsored 25% of the program budget in the first year, 50% for the 2nd year and later the budget was provided both by the LGU and the DEP-ED. It also provides social and health workers, a nurse and rural health physicians.

                This project started in 2009 with only 7 schools in the City of Iloilo as recipients wherein WVCST was then a local implementing partner of Jollibee Foundation and the LGU.  In school year 2010-2011, there were 12 school recipients coming from the City and Province of Iloilo and Guimaras. In 2011-2012, it increased into 38, then it became 68 in 2012-2013. For this year, there are already 90 school recipients of Busog Lusog Talino Health and Nutrition Program, 22 came from Iloilo City, 2 schools from the 1st , 24 from the 3rd District, 9 from the 4TH District and 34 schools from the 5th District.

                The BLT Program wishes to minimize if not zero in malnutrition in Region 6 by 2020 based on the millennium development code. This is designed not only to help fight hunger and malnutrition but also help the students focus in school as education is an essential tool to overcome poverty. Unfortunately, in the recent statistics, the City and Province of Iloilo ranks 2nd in malnutrition while Region 6 is ranked 5th in the whole country.

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