THE Quezon City Health Department recently conducted a surprise inspection in selected school canteens to check their compliance with City Ordinance 2579 or the QC Anti-junk Food and Sugary Drinks Ordinance of 2017.
Food categorized as junk foods and sugary drinks were found still being sold at Pasong Tamo Elementary School and Lagro High School. The school canteens were also caught violating the city’s sanitation standards.
According to Dr. Verdades Linga, chief of QCHD, they are also checking the availability of drinking fountains in schools since water is the only allowed beverage for students, aside from 100 percent natural fruit juices.
“Kung ipinagbabawal po natin itong sugary drinks na ito, mayroon po dapat kaakibat na pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng mga bata pagdating po sa inumin,” Dr. Linga said.
Canteen concessionaires were issued violation tickets by the QC Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) and fined PhP1,000.
Dr. Linga stressed the need to intensify the information campaign on the ordinance because there are canteen owners who still sell junk food and sugary drinks to students.
“We still need to improve the information campaign especially for public schools on anti-sugary drinks because in spite of all the efforts, mayroon pa rin tayong nakikita na nagtitinda ng sugary drinks and junk food,” Linga stated.
Inspectors from the Market Development and Administration Department (MDAD) also confiscated the carts of illegal vendors peddling within the 100-meter perimeter fence from the school.
The QC Anti-junk Food and Sugary Drinks Ordinance states that all canteens in public and private elementary and high schools, as well as preparatory schools, and stores within its 100-meter premises should only sell nutritious foods included in the list of allowed food to be sold by QCHD.
In 2013, the Department of Education issued Department Order No. 65 series of 2013, reiterating the prohibition on sale, distribution and bringing of junk foods and carbonated drinks at school canteens.
Also, store owners within the 100-meter premises of the school should not sell junk foods and sugary drinks to children even after school hours.
“Ako po ay nananawagan ulit sa ating kinauukulan lalong lalo na sa school administrators, parents, daycare teachers, barangays na sana po sama-sama nating ipatupad ang ordinansa. Hindi masama ang idudulot ng isinasagawa ngayon kasi para rin naman ito sa ating school children para mapanatili ang kalusugan at makapag-aral sila nang mabuti na malusog,” Dr. Linga added.
For further inquiries, please contact the Quezon City Health Department at 926-6848 or 988-4242 loc. 8039/7809/8004.