Pedro Guevara Memorial National High School (PGMNHS) was recently recognized as the National Champion of the Nestlé Wellness Campus, the nutrition education advocacy program of Nestlé Philippines in partnership with the Department of Education, for creatively implementing and engaging students, their parents, and other stakeholders in practicing healthy habits for healthier, happier lives.
On its 10th year this School Year 2022-2023, Nestlé Wellness Campus continues to focus on health and wellness education among millions of Grade 1 to 10 public school students to help address malnutrition in the Philippines.
Data from the Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) 2018-2019 conducted by the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) showed that one in four (24.9%) school-aged children is stunted.
While the prevalence of underweight children among this age group significantly decreased from 31.2% in 2015 to 25.5% when the latest ENNS was conducted, the number of overweight children went up from 8.5% to 10.4% during the same period.
Inspired by this advocacy, PGMNHS developed the Healthy Buddy: Your Best Pal to Wellness mobile application with support from the local government of Sta. Cruz, Laguna. The school-initiated project provides constant reminders to the more than 8,000 students of PGMNHS to help track their adoption of the seven healthy habits, namely Choose Nutritious and Varied Options, Manage Portions, Drink Water and Milk, Play Actively, Enjoy Meals Together, Keep Good Hygiene and Care for the Planet.
“The Healthy Buddy mobile app is in line with our overall LIGHT (Let’s Ignite to Get Healthier and Tranquil School) objective in PGMNHS. We strongly believe that the health of our students is the foundation of their success. With the help of the seven healthy habits of the Nestlé Wellness Campus, our students are guided and educated on health and wellness best practices that they can easily follow and live out both in school and at home,” said Dr. Reynaldo D. Villaluz, principal at PGMNHS.
The PGMNHS also launched its Project Stop (Reduce), Ready (Reuse), and Go (Recycle) programs to encourage students to manage solid waste properly. The school not only collected waste materials in the community, they also utilized the tetra packs as pots for vegetable seedlings and other plants. Other students even got creative and made artificial decorative ornaments for display in classrooms.
“As the Kasambuhay for the good of Filipinos, we believe that happy and healthy students are more open and eager to learn in school. We are impressed in how the PGMNHS has been able to turn the seven healthy habits of the Nestlé Wellness Campus into creative yet practical programs that can inspire other schools to come together and help address the issue of malnutrition among our students,” said Jose Uy III, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs of Nestlé Philippines.
To date, the Nestlé Wellness Campus has been reaching more than 10 million students in over 20,000 public schools nationwide. In addition to a library of modules, teacher lesson guides, student worksheets, and other materials, inter-school, and inter-region contests are held each school year to provide a venue for the students to showcase their efforts in living out the seven healthy habits from Nestlé Wellness Campus.