By INA HERNANDO MALIPOT
The Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday reminded school canteens that selling junk food and softdrinks is strictly prohibited in all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide.
According to DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo, the DepEd is against selling of unhealthy food to students, especially in school canteens.
“We have an existing policy against selling of unhealthy food like junk food and other snacks as well as softdrinks inside our schools to make sure that our pupils only eat nutritious foods when they are inside the school premises,” Mateo explained.
Based on DepEd Order No. 8, Series of 2007, or the “Revised Implementing Guidelines on the Operation and Management of School Canteens in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools,” only “nutrient-rich foods and fortified food products labeled rich in protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals shall be sold in school canteens.”
The order added that the “sale of carbonated drinks, sugar-based synthetic or artificially flavored juices, junk foods, and any food product that may be detrimental to the child’s health” is prohibited.
However, when classes for school year 2013-2014 started last June 3, there were several school canteens – especially in the urban areas – that continue to sell junk food such as chips and candies as well as carbonated and sugar-based drinks such as softdrinks.
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