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Local group launches food program in the Philippines

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Reyn Cruz (standing, left) visits Anonas Elementary School in Urdaneta City to oversee the new food program supported by the Pangasinan Group of Manitoba. Cecile Cruz (fourth from right) stands with the school teachers.

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Reyn Cruz (standing, left) visits Anonas Elementary School in Urdaneta City to oversee the new food program supported by the Pangasinan Group of Manitoba. Cecile Cruz (fourth from right) stands with the school teachers. Photo Store

The Pangasinan Group of Manitoba, a local association of Filipino-Canadians with roots in Pangasinan province in the Philippines, recently increased its support a food program  for some 40 underweight public elementary school children at Anonas Elementary School in Urdaneta City in Pangasinan.

The project was started a year ago by the group through past-president Ben Ahoro and his wife Letty. The PGM began by covering tone month’s food for malnourished students, however, this year the program has been stepped up to cover six months food for 40 malnourished students, three times a week from October to March.

The PGM project is part of the Adopt a School Feeding Program initiated by the Department of Education in the Philippines.

The teachers of Anonas Elementary School, headed by Catherine Sagaoinit and school health co-ordinator Julita Quiming, oversee implementation of the food program, assisted by members of the school’s parent-teacher association, headed by Jane Costales.

As the current president of the PGM, I was able to visit the school and oversee the food program four times while visiting the Philippines last month.

Other officers of the PGM are:

Freddie Sion, vice president; Cynthia Baquiran Reyes, recording secretary; Mines Pagtakhan, co-ordinating secretary; Jane Buduhan, treasurer; Jose Lafeguera, interim auditor; Winnipeg city councillor Mike Pagtakhan, Jun Oquendo, Cesar Fronda, Andria Lafeguera, Roger Valdez, Dennis Peralta, and Lina Tamondong- Soriano, directors; Peter Estrada, ex-officio director and Ben Ahoro, Orly Buduhan and Peter Estrada, advisers.

A report on the success of the food project will be submitted to the PGM in March 2014.

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