Press Release
September 26, 2020

POE: MORE SCHOOL KIDS TO BENEFIT FROM FEEDING PROGRAM

Sen. Grace Poe said the inclusion of more children into the Department of Education's (DepEd) school-based feeding program will spur the country's battle against malnutrition and undernourishment, while ensuring their continuous learning (Inihayag ni Sen. Grace Poe na mas maraming bata ang kasama sa school-based feeding program ng Department of Education (DepEd) na makatutulong sa pakikibaka ng bansa laban sa malnutrisyon habang tinitiyak ang pagpapatuloy ng kanilang pag-aaral).

At the briefing of DepEd's proposed budget for 2021, Chief Health Program Officer Corazon Dumlao told the Senate panel that the program will have at least three million beneficiaries, including children from indigenous peoples communities and those "at risk" (Sa ginanap na briefing ng panukalang badyet ng DepEd sa 2021, sinabi ni chief health officer Corazon Dumlao sa Senate panel na magkakaroon ng hindi bababa sa tatlong milyon ang mabibiyayaan ng programa kabilang ang bata mula sa indigenous people's communities at iyong nasa "peligro").

"Mahalaga ang wastong pagkain sa mga bata dahil alam naman natin na apektado ang kanilang pag-aaral kung kulang ang pagkain. Hindi sila matututo kung sila ay gutom," said Poe, main author of Republic Act 11037 or the "Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act" (ayon kay Poe, pangunahing awtor ng Republic Act 11037 o ang "Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act").

For 2021, the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) will get close to P6-billion budget (Para sa 2021, makakakuha ang School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) ng aabot sa P6 bilyong badyet).

The program's target beneficiaries will now include all incoming kindergarten learners and the Grade 1 to 6 students who were wasted and severely wasted based on the 2019-2020 SBFP report, except those who have moved to Grade 7 (Tinatarget ng programa na isama ang mga papasok na kindergarten learners at mula Grade 1 hanggang Grade 6 na mag-aaral na pawang mga 'wasted' at buto't balat base sa 2019-2020 SBFP report, maliban sa mga umakyat na sa Grade 7).

DepEd said that modifications will be implemented in the distribution of food amid COVID-19 that barred face-to-face learning in schools (Sinabi ng DepEd na kanilang ipatutupad ang pagbabago sa distribusyon ng pagkain sa gitna ng COVID-19 na nagbabawal sa face-to-face learning sa mga eskuwelahan).

From food rations in schools in the past years, DepEd will instead distribute nutritious food products to be delivered to households or picked up by parents in schools (Mula sa dating pagrarasyon ng pagkain sa mga nakalipas na taon, sa halip, ipapamahagi ng DepEd ang masusustansiyang produktong pagkain na ihahatid sa kanilang tahanan o kukunin ng kanilang magulang sa eskuwelahan).

Poe said the DepEd should tap the help of the local government units, particularly barangays, in the delivery of the food packs (Ayon kay Poe, dapat kunin ng DepEd ang tulong ng pamahalaang lokal partikular ang mga barangay sa paghahatid ng food packs).

Additional transportation subsidy for the distribution of food packs should also be considered (Dapat din umanong ikonsidera ang karagdagang subsidy sa pamasahe sa pamamahagi ng food packs).

She also urged the department to seek support from private groups, such as Gawad Kalinga and the Ateneo de Manila University through its Blueplate Learning program which has conducted feeding program in various communities in the past (Hinikayat din ni Poe ang suporta mula sa pribadong grupo tulad ng Gawad Kalinga at ang Ateneo de Manila University sa pamamagitan ng Blueplate Learning program nito na nakapagsagawa ng feeding program sa iba't-ibang komunidad).

Poe said private groups can help fill in the gaps in certain areas that are hard to reach by the DepEd or the barangay (Malaki ang maitutulong ng pribadong grupo upang punan ang kakulangan sa ilang lugar na hindi mapuntahan ng DepEd o barangay, anang senador).

She also said that the DepEd and local government units can tap the services of community members, especially those who have been out of work, to help pack the food and distribute to the homes of the learners (Sinabi pa ni Poe na puwedeng pakiusapan ng DepEd ang LGUs at serbisyo ng mga community member partikular doon sa nawalan ng trabaho na tumulong sa pag-iimpake ng pagkain at pamamahagi sa mga tahanan ng mag-aaral).

"As we provide nourishment to our students, we also give livelihood opportunities to our people impacted by the pandemic (Habang nagbibigay tayo ng pampalusog sa ating mga mag-aaral, nagkakaloob din tayo ng kabuhayan sa ating mamamayan na lubhang naapektuhan ng pandemya)," she said.

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