Together, Let’s Feed Our Students for a Brighter Future
Rep. Alfred Vargas
5th District, Quezon City
TOGETHER, let’s feed our students for a brighter future.
Thus said Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, one of the co-authors of the newly-signed Republic Act 11037, or the “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act,” as he urged concerned agencies to consult with the Congress on how to fund this national school feeding program.
Vargas, vice-chairman of the House committee on appropriations, called on the Department of Health (DoH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as well as the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to make budget proposals for this program, which implementation will begin on 2019.
The House committee on appropriations is scheduled to begin the deliberations of 2019 proposed national budget by July 31.
Part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-poverty agenda, the law mandates a feeding program in all public day care, kindergarten, and elementary schools nationwide.
It provides for a school-based feeding program as well as supplemental feeding activities, milk-feeding, micronutrient supplements, deworming and vaccination to school-aged children.
The DepEd and DSWD are tasked to craft a five-year plan to “fully implement” the program and should prioritize public schools with the highest prevalence of undernutrition among children aged three years old up to those in sixth grade.
Vargas expressed gratitude to Congress and President Duterte for giving utmost priority to this measure as this is very important for the long term development of the country.
“Quality education and good health improve the capability of the children, which lead to a greater earning potential in their future, thus breaking the cross-generational cycle of poverty,” Vargas stressed.
The solon added that aside from helping the students and their parents, the feeding program provides an opportunity for the national government to invest in long term for the development of the economy.
Meanwhile, Vargas appealed to the students to grab this opportunity and if possible not to waste food because this will help increase nutrition status, enhances cognitive abilities and performance in school.
“As what the old proverb says, a sound mind is in a sound body. So let’s not waste it, let’s cooperate with the government for better future,” Vargas said.
Vargas assured the students and parents of enough budget for this national feeding program.
For this year, the DepEd has an allocation of P5.3 billion for the existing feeding program but only on select public schools and few students.
The DSWD on the other hand, has P3.4 billion for the supplemental feeding program for this current year.
The said funding are not enough to cover the national feeding program for 2019, as well as for the five-year plan.
-News Release 11 July 2018