Girl Scouts lead call in the Philippines to ban unhealthy food and beverages in schools

02 January 2020
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Girl Scouts from Northern Luzon region in the Philippines, Francine Beatriz Pradez, Melody Estrada and Brisha Eryka Recto, have organised a poster-making contest as part of their Girl Powered Nutrition (GPN) advocacy campaign.

Girl Powered Nutrition is a global programme from WAGGGS promoting girl led change through education on the importance of a balanced, healthy lifestyle and enabling girls to be agents of change in the fight to stop malnutrition continuing from one generation to the next. The programme equips Girl Guides and Girl Scouts with the tools needed to take action against the many injustices around gender and nutrition. In Philippines, Girl Scouts are campaigning to decrease the prevalence of obesity and promote healthier eating habits amongst Filipino adolescent girls.

As part of this campaign, Advocacy Champions in the Northern Luzon region (Francine, Melody and Brisha) have launched an online educational campaign ‘Put Your Best Fork Forward’ on social media , promoting better eating habits and helping to simplify food labels and plan to reach at least 1,150 girls and young women by April 2020.

The girls have also launched a poster competition in which 30 Girl Scouts in the region participated to design a poster that will raise awareness of the existing Department of Education Order no. 13 series of 2017, which prohibits the sale of unhealthy food and beverages in schools. The Order is not widely known or followed by many schools, and many young people are left with no choice but to eat unhealthy food in schools as that is all that is available.

Girl Scouts Philippines lead image

The winning posters have been selected by the Advocacy Champions to be digitalised and put up in selected schools within Pangasinan province.

Francine, Melody and Brisha now plan to meet with school principals, Department of Education officials and local government to place these winning posters in over 100 schools in the region and also write to the Minister for Education informing them of their campaign and requesting that the Order be more widely recognised.

“Proper nutrition and Girl Powered Nutrition begins when girls and young women can make informed decisions about their health and the different factors associated with it because they are equipped with substantial information and data to guide them through the decision – making process.”

Francine Beatriz Pradez, Melody Estrada and Brisha Eryka Recto, Girl Powered Nutrition Advocacy Champions, Northern Luzon Region, The Philippines

This contest was held prior to the Northern Luzon region campaign launch on 2nd December, where the campaign was presented to decision-makers and the local media through targeted video messages. Dr Alma Ruby C. Torio, Assistant Secretary in Curriculum and Instruction from the Department for Education were in attendance and responded positively to the girls calls to action.

Below are the winners of the competition. These posters will be put up in selected schools in Pangasinan Council, Northern Luzon, Philippines.

  • Jennylyn Cariaga - Right to healthy food in schools
  • Princess Anika Pregillana
  • Nicole Joi Gasmen Arboleda

From left to right: 1st place - 'Right to healthy food in schools by Jennylyn Cariaga from Rosales National High School, 2nd place - Princess Anika T. Pregillana from Laoac National High School, 3rd place - Nicole Joi Gasmen from Arboleda National High School

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