Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

10,000 undernourished public school children benefit from PAGCOR’s feeding program

Monday | April 15, 2013 | 12:51 PM

Almost 10,000 undernourished school children from 186 public schools nationwide benefitted from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)’s feeding program at the close of school year 2012-2013.

10,000 undernourished public school children benefit from PAGCOR’s feeding program
A Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) employee from Casino Filipino Heritage assisted in giving food to Grade 1 pupil Stephanie Talanay during a feeding program conducted by the agency at the Marcela Marcelo Elementary School in Pasay City. Talanay, who was born with no arms, was among the 80 students of the Marcela Marcelo Elementary School who benefitted from the PAGCOR Feeding Program this past school year.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. said the state-owned gaming firm allocated P40 million for its feeding program last school year to help address the needs of undernourished public school students. “For the coming school year we plan to increase this to about P45 million so that we can have more beneficiaries,” he added.

“PAGCOR's feeding program is conducted every semester for five months through our different Casino Filipino branches nationwide. We provide free nutritious lunch to public school children who have been classified as malnourished,” the PAGCOR Chief added.

The PAGCOR Feeding Program was carried out by the state-owned gaming agency in response to the pressing need to improve the health and nutrition of school children from the poorest public schools.

10,000 undernourished public school children benefit from PAGCOR’s feeding program
Fifty undernourished pupils of Librada Avelino Elementary School in Tondo, Manila enjoyed the nutritious meals served by employees of Casino Filipino Pavilion during a PAGCOR feeding program held recently in the said school.

Based on a report released in August 2012 by the Department of Education (DepEd), a total of 562,262 pupils in kindergarten and elementary levels enrolled in public schools have been classified as “severely wasted” or undernourished.

Naguiat said the PAGCOR feeding program is the agency’s way of helping our government address the problem on malnutrition. “Our public school children need all the nutrition they can get to help them learn better and absorb all the teachings in school.”

Among the recent beneficiaries of PAGCOR’s feeding program is Jaylord Lozano, a 10-year old student of Damñas Elementary School in Digos City, Davao del Sur. He began attending the PAGCOR feeding program in their school in October 2012. After a few months, Lozano gained four kilograms and now weighs 26 kilograms. He shared that he is now more energetic and his grades are higher. “Salamat sa tulong. Binigyan kami ng libreng pagkain araw-araw. Ngayon pa lang kami nakakain ng ganito, na masarap. (Thank you for the help. We were given free meals every day. It is only now that we are able to eat delicious meals),” Lozano said. The daily menu for students consists of vegetables, meat or fish, rice and fruits.

Meantime, Marilou Sales - principal of the Gabaldon Elementary School in Laoag, Ilocos Norte which is also a beneficiary of the PAGCOR feeding program - underscored the importance of proper food and nutrition among school children. “Kapag ang bata ay hindi kumakain ng sapat, walang nutrisyon, apektado ang kanilang pag-aaral. Mababa ang kanilang grades, hindi nakakabasa ng maayos at kadalasan sila yung hindi nakakapasok sa school. (If a child does not eat enough nutritious foods their studies are affected. Their grades are low, they are unable to read well and most of the time they are the ones who are unable to go to school),” Sales said in a separate interview.

10,000 undernourished public school children benefit from PAGCOR’s feeding program
Employees of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) Airport Casino Filipino branch provided assistance to students of San Agustin Elementary School in Parañaque City during a feeding program conducted recently by the agency in the said school.

She added that most undernourished children come from the poorest families whose parents do not earn enough to provide the basic needs for their children. Sales noted that their dropouts are children whose parents decide to stop sending them to school due to severe poverty.

Sales said they have achieved zero dropout rate after PAGCOR selected their students as beneficiaries of the feeding program. “Malaki ang pasasalamat namin sa biyayang ito dahil ang supplementary feeding program ng PAGCOR dito sa school namin ay nakakatulong ng malaki. Yung mga bata nakikita ko na sila ay naeengganyong kumain at mag-aral. Sa ngayon, wala na kaming mga dropouts pa dahil sa tulong ng PAGCOR (We are very grateful for this blessing because PAGCOR’s supplementary feeding program in our school helps us a lot. Our students are encouraged to eat and study. To date, we no longer have dropouts because of PAGCOR’s help),” she said.

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