OROQUIETA CITY, MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL, Aug. 15 (PIA) -- To ensure that schoolchildren are provided with basic primary health and dental care, Department of Education (DepEd-10), in coordination with the Division of Oroquieta City, spearheaded the Oplan Kalusugan sa DepEd (OK sa DepEd) regional kick off at the Provincial Cultural and Farmer's Training Center, Capitol, this city.
The program initially focused on DepEd's five major school health initiatives such as the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP), National Drug Education Program (NDEP), Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) Education, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Schools (WinS), and Medical, Dental, and Nursing Services.
This year, the School Mental Health Program is added as the sixth flagship program focusing on the fulfillment of the Department's mandate under Republic Act No. 11036 or the Mental Health Act.
In behalf of Gov. Philip Tan, Provincial Administrator, Dr. Edemar Alota, delivered the message of governor, saying "I hope that today inspires ideas and discussions along the ways that we can make the health policies, plans, programs and activities."
"One of the priorities of the province of Misamis Occidental is health services," he shared.
"Knowledge above health care starts within ourselves and second from you teachers as you impart health education to your students," he added.
In his message, City Mayor Lemuel Acosta shared that "we can create or mold our people to become better Filipinos, better Misamisnons and better Oroquitanons."
He also encouraged everyone to stand by DepEd's program.
Meanwhile, Regional Director of DepEd-10, Dr. Arturo Bayocot, said the "OK sa DepEd Program" is a converging effort where health plans, policies, programs and activities are implemented to ensure that all school children are provided with basic primary health and dental care to allow them to attain their full educational potential.
"It will also ensure that all DepEd school health personnel and school children practice healthier behavior that they can do on their own, and get linked up with health providers and local government units [LGUs] for child and adolescent health services," he added.
Bayocot underscored the significant role of DepEd health personnel in bringing to the ground the various school health programs of the department.
"We want our learners to grow and be educated up to their full potential, and this can be achieved through the active contribution of all of you [DepEd health workers] in keeping our learners healthy, as well as our teaching and other nonteaching personnel, thus increasing the level of school participation, attendance, and access to education of Filipino learners," he stated.
This year's "OK sa DepEd" open with a motorcade along the city and 14 division feature exhibits on the six flagship health programs, recognition of partners, pledge of commitment and talk show.
The Division of Oroquieta City was host for the regional kick off of the Oplan Kalusugan (OK) sa DepEd Program 2019. (Shaine Mae R. Nagtalon/PIA Misamis Occidental)