The Department of Education (DepEd) and Nestle Philippines, Inc. recently renewed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that reinforces their commitment to fill in the nutrition and educational support gaps to raise healthy and ‘matibay’ Filipino students through the BEAR BRAND Fortified Tibay sa Pag-aaral Program.
With this partnership, DepEd and Nestle Philippines, Inc. strengthen their resolve to support young Filipinos through three key initiatives, namely: the Gabay sa Tibay Nutrition Program, that seeks to help parents and educators understand the importance of proper nutrition; the Tibayanihan Sachet Upcycling program that provides school chairs for a better learning experience in school; and the Batang Matibay Awards that recognizes 10 exemplary public school students, as nominated by their teachers, who exhibit astounding ‘tibay’ to overcome life’s challenges.
“Our renewed MOA with Nestle Philippines, Inc. underscores the importance of education, health and nutrition – three key factors that are essential to a child’s overall development, especially in this new normal. With this partnership, not only can we help raise happy, healthy and resilient children, but we can also instill in them the value that proper nutrition and strength of will or tibay plays in enabling Filipino learners to pursue their future dreams and aspirations,” said Honorable Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq., CESO I, Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, Project Management Service and Private Education Office at the Department of Education.
Longstanding relationship, meaningful milestones
First established in 2007, the Laki sa Tibay program has been aiding schools, teachers and parents in its nutrition education programs via Tibay Learning Modules for Grades 1 to 3. This year, the brand continues to support DepEd in the provision of modules on health and nutrition, as well as introduces the Gabay Sa Tibay Program. Through this, the brand aims not only to distribute BEAR BRAND® Fortified packs to 1 million parents in Luzon, but also to host specially designed nutrition sessions that inform parents about the importance of tibay ng katawan, isipan, at kalooban.
Meanwhile, as some schools in low-risk areas prepare for the return of face-to-face classes, Russell Lipchin, Business Executive Officer for BEAR BRAND Fortified, said they aim to produce and donate 5,000 chairs and benches to public schools nationwide by the end of 2022. These chairs are made of upcycled BEAR BRAND Fortified sachets and are equivalent to 4.4 million pieces of the brand’s Swak 33g pack.
“In addition, our longstanding relationship with the DepEd will allow BEAR BRAND Fortified to continue the Batang Matibay Awards – through which we award and support students across the Philippines who showed exceptional strength or ‘tibay’ to overcome any physical, emotional or social challenges in order to continue their education, while also being an inspiration in their communities,” Lipchin added.
As the Kasambuhay Para sa Matibay na Bukas of Filipinos children, BEAR BRAND Fortified has chosen Batang Matibay awardees since 2018. Their stories of resilience, grit and determination continue to inspire many Filipinos to keep going especially in these unprecedented times.
According to Lipchin, the pandemic has put a spotlight on the ‘tibay’ that Filipino students have shown in adapting to a blended learning environment. “Filipinos have risen above many challenges during the course of COVID-19. We look forward to sharing the stories of the next batch of Batang Matibay awardees and how they have demonstrated ‘tibay’ – in mind, body, and will – proving that no level of adversity can get in the way of their dreams for a better life for themselves and their families.”
With the renewal of the MOA, DepEd and BEAR BRAND Fortified hope to continue supporting Filipino learners in body, mind, and will, to help students realize their own tibay, and build generations of Batang Matibay.