Press Release
September 19, 2006


Citing the P3.2 billion fund appropriated for a government School Feeding Program under the 2006 Supplemental Budget, Senator Edgardo J. Angara today stressed that these should be used exclusively for school feeding and not merely as a rice dole-out.

"The governments so-called School Feeding Program merely involves giving a kilo of rice per pre-school and grade school pupil. But that is simple rice subsidy, not a real school feeding program," he said.

Angara called for a genuine school feeding program where the school children are fed with foods rich in carbohydrates, protein and calcium for a particular period. The childrens significant improvements in height and weight are recorded during and after the school feeding program.

"We know that we are always short of rice production. The rice hand-out will require the import of almost 750,000 metric tons of rice every year, on top of the 1.8 million-ton annual rice import valued at $550 million. This so called 'school feeding program' is a pure rice import scheme misusing the name of school children to enrich some favored rice traders," Angara added. Angara has been undertaking a pilot school feeding program for the past five years, giving milk, eggs and noodles to target Grades 1-3 pupil-beneficiaries over a 120-day feeding cycle. Significant improvement in weight, height, nutritional status, attendance rate and academic performance were observed in the students, and has effectively cut the malnutrition rate within the schools.

To date, over 24,000 students have become recipients of the Angara School Feeding Program.

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