By Stacy Ang
MANILA — Senator Cynthia Villar on Monday has blamed the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the “poor performance” of Filipino students and for failing to produce efficient and competitive farmers.
“Of course, because our dairy production is 1% of the demand. Ninety nine percent are imported. This means that if a child is poor, he cannot drink milk since it is of course expensive and imported. You are a poor kid, can you buy imported? So that’s the problem,” said Villar after yesterday’s hearing on building gardens in public schools and urban gardening and vertical farming.
Because of this situation, she emphasized that all poor children cannot drink milk.
“If that’s the case, the development of their mental ability would be affected,” said Villar.
Villar is chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food.
“What I’m saying, it is not only the Department of Education (DepEd) who should be blamed, but our inability to provide good nutrition to our children,” she said.
She particularly took to task the government’s dairy program for the poor students who do not perform well in school.
She pointed out that the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and the National Dairy Authority (NDA), which have been operating for 26 years, have no clear programs.
Due to the absence of cheap milk, poor students can no longer afford to drink that resulted to their poor performance in their classes.
“It’s typical that children should be allowed to drink milk to improve their mental ability. If the dairy production is small, children will no longer drink milk. More or less, the development of their mental ability is affected,” she said. (IAMIGO)