BLT in LGU Pinabacdao, Samar
The Municipality of Pinabacdao is located in the Southwestern part of the Province of Samar. It is accessible from all points of the province and region: 54 kms. North of Tacloban City – the Regional Capital of Eastern Visayas and 52 kms. South of Catbalogan City – the provincial capital of Samar Province. The municipality is composed of 24 barangays: 11 of which are located along the Maharlika Highway, four in the coastal and nine in the hinterlands.
Upland and lowland rice, corn and root crops are the major annual crops produced by farmers of Pinabacdao. Coconuts are also intercropped with bananas as permanent crops and recently, farmers are starting to plant ginger too. These crops are both for home consumption and local market. In spite of the variety of crops being produced, many pupils still suffer from malnutrition because Samar Province is a pathway of storms. With this, Zuellig Family Foundation applied to Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) for the Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) School Feeding Program in Pinabacdao.
Since BLT begun, we experienced both delight and trials like, perhaps, other municipalities. But for the past four years, the feeding program continues for the benefit of the pupils and because of our supportive Local Chief Executive, Hon. Mario L. Quijano, M.D.
A series of typhoon came, there was Yolanda, Ruby, and Seniang which destroyed our houses and sources of income leaving our community devastated. This also affected some of our BLT pupils who cannot go to school due to lack of school supplies, uniforms and other basic necessities. But this experience gave us hope, courage and strength to face all trials. We see ourselves now as survivors and stronger than before.
Encouraging parent involvement was a challenge too. Some BLT parents are not in favor of it because, for them, meal preparation is very stressful. But the BLT Point Person Ms. Imelda Fabilane, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Ms. Zenaida Estrada and Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Designate Ms. Agueda Cabornay sought ways and made the parents realize how glad and lucky we are to be chosen as one of the recipients of the JGF’s BLT School Feeding Program and it cannot be implemented if parents will not participate. Likewise, Municipal Health Officer Dr. Cornelio A. Solis and Sanitary Inspector Designate Ms. Ethel Nacario, helped by monitoring/facilitating deworming and medical check-up for the pupils. Also, the LGU, as the Local Implementing Partner, ensures that the program is well implemented in all six BLT school namely Lale Elementary School, Nabong Elementary School, Madalunot Elementary School, Laygayon Elementary, Pahug Elementary School and Parasanon Elementary School. Other efforts of the LGU are: distribution of coin bank to different institutions, conduct of parents’ seminars/orientation and provision of some kitchen utensils/supplies for the feeding center.
BLT in our Municipality gives hope to our pupils and a chance to be more creative and resourceful to its implementers/stakeholders. We are fueled by our vision for the BLT pupils: to have a healthy mind and body for a brighter future, accompanied by our mission: to implement the program well, no matter how hard it takes.