The Department of Health (DOH) officials expressed support to House Bill No. 4039 which aims to regulate and/or ban sale of soft drinks and other unhealthy drinks in public schools.

DOH Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial said DOH agrees on the move to restrict soft drinks’ accessibility to students, particularly those in public schools.

“That is actually already part of our standards for healthy settings in schools,” Ubial said.

She added that DOH has long been pushing for healthy settings in schools.

Ubial said the passage of such law will actually further align with their actions as it will now become mandatory for schools to provide healthy drinks to their students.

She added that as part of encouraging schools to advocate such aim they even award compliant schools.

“We award complying schools to our healthy setting standards. So it is more or less voluntary. But if that becomes a law, then it will be compulsory,” she said.

Way back 2007, the Department of Education (DepEd) had issued a memorandum which prohibits the sale of carbonated drinks and artificially-flavored juices inside canteens in public schools.

Just last week, Edukasyon party-list Rep. Salvador Belano filed a proposed law that aims to regulate or ban the sale of soft drinks and energy drinks in school canteens of the estimated 46,000 public schools nationwide.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sugar-sweetened beverages largely contribute to the unhealthy weight gain of both adults and children.

Other experts also said that being overweight and obese could likely lead to non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and cancer. (PNA) JBP/LSJ/RSM