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PIA Press Release

School head admits FFS rice allocation program solves absenteeism and malnutrition

By Ninfa B Quirante

Tacloban City (4 October) -- Absenteeism and malnutrition are just two of the problems being solved by the Food for School Program (FFS) of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

This was observed by Rolando Vieja, school principal of Tarangnan Central Elementary School, one of the 15 municipalities who have become recipients of the FFS Program.

On October 3, 2006 some 150 bags of iron-fortified rice were delivered to Tarangnan District by Lemuel Uy, NFA personnel, Mano Ric, the NFA driver and accompanied by Margie Raz, school nurse and PIA.

Uy told PIA that it was his first delivery for the school year. He explained that packing was delayed because plastic bags have to be supplied by the region. He said they were instructed to deliver rice already packed per kilo.

Tarangnan District was the only school last year which became eligible for the program. They were able to rehabilitate then some 145 malnourished children, said Vieja. Still last summer, the same district was given another rice-allocation.

This school year, another 103 grade one pupils with 61 day care children are assured of a kilo of rice a day in Tarangnan central school alone for a period of 120 days.

These children, said Vieja would be weighed before given the rice so that school medical personnel would know how they would weight once they have consumed the iron-fortified rice.

PIA chanced upon two wide-eyed grade one kids who would become recipients. Jessie Reyes, 8 and Ginalyn Tamor, 9 were both happy to get the rice. Reyes said that it was his mother, a fish vendor who told him of the rice coming. Ginalyn also expressed desire to get the rice saying, her mother, a farmer will forbid her to miss school for fear of rice forfeiture. (PIA-Samar) [top]

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