Busog Lusog Talino (BLT) family in Tacurong City had just gotten bigger!

On July 28, LGU Tacurong City launched BLT in Lourdes Pama Elementary School in Barangay Rajah Muda and Maria A. Montilla Memorial Elementary School in Barangay EJC Montilla. These schools are the new addition to the four existing BLT schools in the city.

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In each BLT school, 40 pupils will be fed for 120 school days. The BLT feeding cycle for this school year will start on August 4, 2014.

During the pilot implementation of BLT in Tacurong in SY 2013-2014, only four schools were included in the program. These schools were Tina Elementary School, Josue Alcasid Central School, Dr. Manuel J. Grino Memorial Central School, and J. Hector Lacson Memorial Elementary School.

With six BLT schools, the program will be able to feed 240 pupils this school year. BLT pupils are those who were identified as severely wasted and wasted pupils in the school beneficiaries.

“Ang pag-expand sang BLT nagakahulugan nga maayo ang resulta sini kag maayo man ang aton nga pag-manage,” said Mayor Lina Montilla.

Out of 160 severely wasted and wasted pupils under the BLT program in SY 2013-2014, 130 pupils gained normal body mass index. Some of them were awarded with the BLT excellence award for being honor students in their schools.

From July 22-July 30, LGU Tacurong conducted parent orientation and food handling seminars in each of the six BLT schools. “Kaupod naton ang mga teachers ka gang mga ginikanan kay sila guid ang frontliners sang BLT,” said Councilor Psyche Sucaldito, Core Team Leader of the LGU BLT Team. Parents of the BLT pupils are tasked to prepare daily lunch meals in each school. They will be divided into groups that will be assigned daily to cook and prepare food.

The City Schools Division of Tacurong, headed by Superintendent Romelito Flores, expressed its support to the project as it complements DepEd’s school-based feeding program. “Nagapasalamat kami sa LGU because they are always there. Hindi na namon kinahanglan magpalapit kay ara na sila dayon with their programs. Bal-an na nila ang sitwasyon,” said Superintendent Flores during the BLT school launching.

“Ang BLT, suporta man naton sa DepEd kay ini isa ka paagi nga mabawasan ang malnutrition kag drop-out rate sa mga eskwelahan,” added Montilla.

BLT also won support from more partners this school year. Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative and Tacurong City Employees Association each adopted a BLT school for program sustainability. Each of them donated P57,600.00—the amount needed for feeding 40 pupils in a BLT school in 120 days. This amount is only for the program’s feeding component.

Meanwhile, Sultan Kudarat Water District adopted 20 pupils in one of the six school-beneficiaries.

Other partner-agencies supported BLT by providing for parent seminars and orientations, cooking equipment and tools, eating utensils, vitamins, drinking water, soaps, toothbrushes, and others. BLT partners include the Rotary Club of Tacurong, Fil-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., COTAMPCO, TACEMPCO, PNP-Tacurong, PICPA, Notre Dame Educational Association, Department of Health, Philippine Dental Association, Philippine Medical Association, Talakudong Food Corporation (Jollibee-Tacurong), and Rotaract Club of Talakudong.

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LGU-Tacurong City is Jollibee Group Foundation’s local implementing partner in Tacurong since 2013.

The LGU is looking for organizations or individuals who are willing to help sustain the BLT program and expand it to more schools in the city. A P1,440-donation will already feed one BLT pupil for one school year. (LGU-Tacurong City Information)