Press Release
August 15, 2010


Senator Loren Legarda today proposed to institutionalize a Milk Feeding Program for Filipino children by providing budgetary appropriations to ensure its sustainable implementation.

Legarda's Senate Bill No. 13981 recommends the distribution of locally produced fresh milk from cows, carabaos and goats for direct intake of children ages 5-10 years of age nationwide, to be taken from the produce of local milk suppliers.

"Priority shall be given to children who are located in barangay day care centers, pre-schools and schools where malnutrition is high. Second priorities are those nursing mothers, pregnant and elder persons who also reside in rural communities, " Legarda clarified.

The Legarda bill stipulates that an initial amount of Five Hundred Million Pesos (P500,000,000) out of the total tax collection of the National Government for the current year from the importation of milk and dairy products as well as dairy equipment and implements shall be the seed money for the "Milk Feeding Fund".

Legarda said the National Dairy Authority consistent with its mandate under Republic Act No. 7884 will be the implementing agency and will be given the authorization to utilize the "Milk Feeding Fund".

"The NDA shall tap bona fide and reputable women's organizations as milk feeding partners , other government agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) with social reform, pro-poor and pro-child agenda."

"Studies made by the Department of Science and Technology's Food and Nutrition Research Institute revealed that 32.9% of school-children ages 6-10 years are underweight while 41.1% are short for their age. These nutritionally disadvantaged children are more than the entire 8 million population of Central Luzon."

"Children belonging to this group are vulnerable to infection and disease with usually serious implications. There is a need for the State's intervention to solve the problem of malnutrition, "Legarda concluded.

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