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Duterte to DepEd: Ensure basic level of health literacy

Photo: Facebook/Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)

President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to promote a basic level of “health literacy skills”.

Duterte told Congress that he has instructed DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones to enable teachers to educate Filipinos on the proper skills and ways of responding to disasters or pandemics, especially on the matter of mitigating the spread of a virus.

The president further noted that through the health literacy initiative, ordinary citizens would be able to play a more active role in preventing the “creation of secondary transmission chains”.

In a televised address, Duterte shared that his Barrett’s esophagus was worsening and could nearly progress to stage one cancer. He was advised by doctors to cease drinking alcohol so as not to aggravate his disease. His directive to DepEd for health literacy skills came after he revealed the status of his condition.

Barrett’s esophagus is commonly triggered by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder wherein stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. When one has Barrett’s esophagus, a lining in the tube linking the mouth to the stomach gets damaged by acid reflux and thickens. Those with the condition are more prone to developing esophageal cancer.

P754.4 billion of the proposed P4.506 trillion 2021 budget will be allocated to the education sector, primarily DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). DepEd aims to utilize the funds to support blended and flexible learning, through the production
of learning modules, acquisition of multimedia packages, and the construction of classrooms.

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