Sun, 03 Jul 2022

MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) is investigating suspected food-borne illnesses involving elementary students in Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental, caused by alleged contaminated milk distributed in schools in the area under the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP).

SBFP, one of DepEd's priority initiatives, aims to address hunger and encourage learners to enroll and contribute to the improvement of their nutritional status, as mandated by Republic Act No. 11037, or the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act.

In a statement on Saturday, DepEd assured it coordinated with the involved local government unit, National Dairy Authority, and concerned agencies for the analysis of milk samples and investigation.

Based on the field report, the majority of the affected learners experienced mild illnesses, including dehydration and nausea, on Thursday.

They have been discharged from hospitals, according to DepEd.

Nonetheless, DepEd has facilitated the provision of immediate medical assistance and will continue to monitor their health status.

"DepEd, through the Bureau of Leaner Support Services-School Health Division and concerned field offices, is committed to continue assisting the learners and their families. We will likewise look into possible actions against those responsible entities or individuals," the agency statement read.

The health and safety of learners remain the utmost priority and DepEd will ensure that measures will be instituted to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents, added the statement. (PR)

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