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Additional P2 Billion for School-Based Feeding Program – POE

 

Senator Grace Poe is pushing for an additional outlay of P2 billion for next year’s implementation of the school-based feeding program in order to restore health for malnourished school children.

Poe, who has earlier committed that she will move for an increase of the feeding program’s budget, said the initiative is important to ensure that 2.5 million wasted and severely wasted students or those with chronic malnutrition will be properly supported next year. The legislator added there is a huge backlog in food preparation and storage equipment in public schools “which in turn hamper the latter’s mission to provide education and nutrition.”

“Kailangan natin ng sapat at wastong pasilidad para makapaghanda ng masustansyang pagkain para sa milyong mga bata sa ilalim ng programa. Mamuhunan tayo sa kinabukasan ng ating kabataan sa pagsuporta sa kanilang nutrisyon,” said the lawmaker, who has advocated for the feeding program since being elected as lawmaker.

The senator, who co-sponsored a measure seeking to institutionalize the feeding program, said the additional funding will be used for procurement of equipment necessary for the establishment of new and upgrading of existing school kitchens with adequate storage facilities.

The DepEd allocated P5.3 billion in the proposed 2018 General Appropriations Act for the feeding program.

In this year’s national budget, the DepEd had allotted P3.9 billion to feed 1.8 million students.

The feeding program targets wasted and severely wasted Kinder to Grade 6 pupils nationwide for a total of 120 feeding days.

Poe said various research done by local groups and international monitors suggested hunger, malnutrition and stunting – or children who are short of their age – are still prevalent in the Philippines.

“Ang programang ito ay pantawid-gutom para sa mga mag-aaral na hindi nakakakain nang sapat sa kanilang tahanan. Sa pamamagitan ng feeding program, lalagyan natin ng laman hindi lang ang kanilang isipan, kundi pati ang sikmurang kumakalam pagpasok sa paaralan,” Poe said.

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