27 January 2022 - A Social Weather Stations (SWS) September 2021 survey has shown that an estimated 2.5 million Filipino families experienced hunger – due to lack of food to eat – at least once in the past three months.
Many of those who experience hunger are children, who tend to do poorly at school. The government has undertaken numerous programs to address hunger, one of which is the school-based feeding program mandated by Republic Act 11037, also known as an Act Institutionalizing a National Feeding Program for Undernourished Children in Public Day Care of 2018, and primarily implemented by the Department of Education.
But in Davao de Oro, a group of civil servants decided to take the school-based feeding program up a notch, relieving already overburdened public schools of the task to prepare and distribute meals or food packs, thus increasing the chance of success that children get access to nutritionally-balanced, good quality food.
The End Hunger Program Team of the Provincial Government of Davao de Oro – composed of Virgilia S. Allones as team leader, Mark Vincent B. Tenio, Arceli A. Timogtimog, and Arturo T. Uy – created the Kusina ng Kalinga (KNK) Program, a 120-day school-based feeding program patterned after the Ateneo Blueplate Central Kitchen Approach. Central kitchens are where lunches are prepared before they are delivered to children in different elementary schools. This system cuts expenses, as high as 38% compared to other programs, due to bulk-buying of ingredients.
With 14 central kitchens and 15 special kitchens scattered across the province, KNK was able to fully rehabilitate an average of 90% of its total beneficiaries from 2017 to 2019, which is the highest rehabilitation rate for any school-based feeding program in the country. This eventually led to decreased malnutrition rates among children in the province.
In its pilot run in Maco South District, the schools district that recorded the highest incidence of child malnutrition, 748 out of 825 “wasted” or undernourished children were fully rehabilitated after 120 days of feeding, translating to a 93.4% success rate.
Budget cuts almost hampered the full rollout of the program, but through the team’s persistence and dedication, they were able to secure additional funding from both the public and private sectors, which were used to develop the kitchens, purchase equipment, and provide KNK employees with proper and comfortable work spaces.
Team leader Allones said that the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment is what they love most about their job. “It is a life-long dream of mine to see the young generation of Davao de Oro acquire the much-needed education and skills to better prepare them for the future,” she said.
Because of their outstanding achievements, the End Hunger Program Team was picked among hundreds of nominees of the 2020 Search for Outstanding Government Workers to receive the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Pagasa Award.
They were recognized in a virtual program last 15 November 2021 held by the CSC, the agency administering the government’s Honor Awards Program (HAP).
The virtual awards rites, which aired on the CSC’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel, featured a total of 41 awardees from 2020 and 2021—12 who were conferred the Presidential Lingkod Bayan award; 11 who received the CSC Pagasa award; and 18, the Dangal ng Bayan award.
Allones’ team was awarded the CSC Pagasa, which is conferred on an individual or group for outstanding contribution/s resulting from an idea or performance that directly benefit more than one department of the government. Recipients of this award receive a plaque signed by the CSC Chairperson, gold-gilded medallion handcrafted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and cash reward of PHP200,000 per individual awardee or PHP100,000 for each member of the group awardee.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Lingkod Bayan (PLB) is conferred on an individual or a group for exceptional or extraordinary contributions resulting from an idea or performance that had nationwide impact on public interest, security, and patrimony. PLB awardees receive a plaque signed by the President of the Philippines, gold-gilded medallion handcrafted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, cash reward of PHP200,000 per individual awardee or PHP100,000 for each member, and are entitled to automatic promotion to the next higher position.
The Dangal ng Bayan (DNB) is conferred on an individual for performance of an extraordinary act or public service, and consistent demonstration of exemplary ethical behavior on the basis of observance of the eight norms of conduct provided under Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. Recipients of the DNB receive a gold-gilded medallion, fiberglass bronze trophy designed by National Artist for Sculpture, Napoleon V. Abueva, cash reward of PHP200,000, and are entitled to automatic promotion to the next higher position.
The CSC is once again looking for exemplars in public service who can be nominated to the 2022 Search for Outstanding Government Workers.
All government workers in the career and non-career service including appointive barangay officials may be nominated. Employees who are under job order or contract of service are excluded from the coverage of the program.
Posthumous nomination is also accepted for public servants who died in the line of duty or in the pursuit of their official duties and responsibilities. The nomination must be made within 12 months from the time of death.
Deadline of submission of nominations is on 31 March 2022. Nominations must be submitted to the CSC Regional or Field Offices. Guidelines and other pertinent information are available from the CSC website.
Get to know the 2020 and 2021 awardees in this compilation.
Be inspired by the stories of the Honor Awards Program awardees. Watch their videos on the CSC YouTube channel. Don't forget to like and hit the notification bell button to get updates on our new video releases.