June 22, 2009
DO 65, s. 2009
Implementation of Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) for the School Children

To: Undersecretaries
Assistant Secretaries
Bureau Directors
Regional Directors
Schools Division/City Superintendents

  1. Education and health are interrelated. Academic performance of the pupils and instructional outcomes are determined by the quality of health of the school children. Unhealthy children cannot develop their full potential which may result to high drop-out rates and low academic performance. The health status of public school pupils in public schools are alarmingly poorly. Dental caries, infectious diseases (respiratory tract infections and diarrhea) and worm infestations are the most common hygiene deficiency related infectious diseases in public schools which are due to lack of water and functional sanitary facilities. If unattended, these will lead to malnutrition, poor physical growth and other diseases like anemia, toothache, among others.
  2. To address these problems, the Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) for school children shall be institutionalized in all schools. Through this project, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste with fluoride and deworming medicines will be provided for the conduct of daily handwashing, daily toothbrushing and bi-annual deworming of all children. These are the most cost effective, evidence-based preventive interventions to improve the health of school children in public schools and thereby, improving their academic performance.
  3. Recently, the Department of Education (DepED), League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) and Fit for School Inc., forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a nationwide implementation of EHCP.
  4. Regional directors, schools division superintendents shall establish linkages with LGUs and jointly participate in the planning while the regional/division health and nutrition personnel and Adopt-A-School Program (ASP) coordinators will be responsible for the orientation of school principals and teachers and monitoring and evaluation of the project. Outstanding performances of involved school administrators, teaching and non-teaching personnel will be included in the performance ranking and will be rewarded every year.
  5. School principals and teachers shall be oriented by the health and nutrition personnel for proper supervision/implementation of the daily handwashing with soap and toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste. Parent Teachers Associations (PTAs) are encouraged to establish handwashing/toothbrushing facilities, toothbrush holders and other improvements of the schools.
  6. Enclosed is the implementing guidelines of the project.
  7. Widest dissemination and compliance with this Order is desired.

As stated
Allotment: 1—(D.O. 50-97)

To be indicated in the Perpetual Index under the following subjects: