In a resounding declaration of commitment to the welfare of learners, the Bureau of Learners Support Services orchestrated a monumental event, marking the inauguration of the School-Based Feeding Program 2024 and the initiation of the School Mental Health Program. The bustling corridors of Esteban Abada Elementary School and Lukresia Kasilag Senior High School witnessed an amalgamation of distinguished guests, officials, educators, and enthusiastic participants on January 24, 2024.
Under the meticulous orchestration of the School Health Division – Central Office, in collaboration with the School Health Unit-DepEd-NCR, and various sections of the Department of Education, NCR, notably the SDO-Quezon City and the esteemed Esteban Abada Elementary School, the event boasted a substantial turnout of 750 participants.
The event, designed as a day-long affair, commenced with meticulous preparations in the morning, culminating in the much-anticipated Program Proper in the afternoon. With a multifaceted agenda, the occasion served as a platform to unveil the School Mental Health Program, aligned with the overarching theme of ‘OK sa DepEd’ for the calendar year 2024. Simultaneously, it heralded the commencement of the School-Based Feeding Program for the same period, reinforcing the government’s commitment to nourishing young minds.
Attendees were enlightened on the innovative strategies and enhancements in the implementation of the School-Based Feeding Program and the imperative significance of mental health initiatives for both learners and educators. This profound endeavor finds its justification in pivotal legislative frameworks such as the Mental Health Act and the Masustansiyang Pagkain Para sa Batang Pilipino Act (RA 11037), alongside operational directives like OUOPS No 2023-03-139.
The event boasted an illustrious lineup of speakers, including Her Excellency Sara Z. Duterte, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, and esteemed figures like Mayor Joy Belmonte, Congressman Roman Romulo, Dr. Dexter Galvan, DepEd ASEC, and Dir. Joyce DR Andaya of DepEd-NCR.
The program’s highlights included the grand inauguration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a captivating gallery walk through thematic booths, and poignant messages from distinguished guests. Symbolic rituals, such as the ceremonial wearing of the DepEd Friendship Baller and the signing of the Commitment Board for SBFP, underscored the collective resolve towards educational well-being.