The alleged contamination of milk distributed in schools under the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) of the Department of Education (DepEd) is being investigated by the agency.
In a statement Saturday, the DepEd said it suspects that elementary students in Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental suffered from food-borne illnesses.
One of DepEd’s priority initiatives, SBFP aims to address hunger and encourage learners to enroll and contribute to the improvement of their nutritional status, as mandated by Republic Act 11037, or the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act.
The department has assured the public that it has coordinated with the involved local government unit, the National Dairy Authority, and other agencies for the analysis of the milk samples.
Field reports showed the majority of the affected learners experienced mild illnesses, including dehydration and nausea, on Thursday. They have been discharged from hospitals, according to DepEd.
DepEd said it has facilitated the provision of immediate medical assistance and will continue to monitor the students’ health status.
“DepEd, through the Bureau of Learner Support Services-School Health Division and concerned field offices, is committed to continuing to assist the learners and their families. We will likewise look into possible actions against those responsible entities or individuals,” the agency statement read.
DepEd said the health and safety of learners remain the utmost priority, thus measures will be instituted to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents, added the statement.