The House special committee on food security approved a substitute bill seeking to create a supplemental feeding program to address the nutritional needs of infants and pregnant and lactating mothers.
The committee chaired by Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva thumbed up the proposed “Supplemental Feeding Program of the National Nutrition Council.” The measure substituted House Bills 247, 767, 3419 and 3937 authored by Reps. Gabriel Bordado, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, Jorge Banal, and Kaka Bag-ao, respectively.
The bill declares as the policy of the State to develop, create, and implement a nationwide feeding program to alleviate poverty and hunger in the country. Hence, there is a need to institutionalize the Supplemental Feeding Program under the National Nutrition Council (NNC) supervision to complement the national school feeding program which aims to promote the right to health of the people.
The feeding program shall also serve as a crucial investment in human capital that will considerably impact on economic productivity, growth and national development.
Under the bill, the NNC Supplemental Feeding Program shall be composed of an Infant Feeding Program wherein the NNC, in consultation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), shall create a system of distribution of food packets, through the barangay health workers, for those targeted by the system created under the proposed Act. The food packets shall supplement the nutritional and dietary needs of children ages 6 to 36 months old.
The feeding program shall serve as a crucial investment in human capital.
The second component of the NNC Supplemental Feeding Program shall be the Feeding Program for Pregnant and Lactating Women. The NNC, in consultation with the Department of Health (DOH), shall ensure that nutritionally at-risk pregnant and lactating women shall be given the proper meals for the survival, growth and development of their unborn child and newborn.
Food packets shall be distributed to supplement the nutritional and dietary needs of children ages 6 to 36 months old.
The bill mandates government agencies concerned to establish a liberalized mode of procurement for the feeding program, subject to the approval of the Government Procurement Policy Board.
Procurement for the feeding program shall encourage the participation of local and community-based producers, suppliers or service contractors, or both.
The NNC shall be the policy-making and strategy-formulating body of policies and programs on the Supplemental Feeding Program. It shall ensure the effective distribution, procurement, and targeting of beneficiaries, and serve as a coordinating body for the different departments involved in implementing the Act.
The funds needed to implement the Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) under the budget of the National Nutrition Council (NNC).