Press Release
November 19, 2014

Sen. Grace Poe's manifestations on DepEd budget

I am fully supportive of the DepEd budget because I always value the most important guarantee of our Constitution that "education should be accorded the highest priority and the highest budget among the sectors."

Mr. President I would also like to express appreciation to the chair of the Senate committee on finance for assisting our advocacy of providing free meals to students of public schools nations, especially those who are severely wasted. Thank you also to the advice of Sen. Ralph Recto and now we will be able to source it from the current budget that was approved.

For the records of LBRMO Finance committee, the additional budget for school year 2014-2015 feeding is about P2 billion for a total of P3.2 billion for th record. I would like to make sure that for the record, we have that budget approved and allotted for the DepEd and I would also like to thank the chair of the education committee Sen. Pia Cayetano for being supportive for this initiative for the lunch program. And hopefully well have this bill passed to institutionalize this program in all public schools.

Just a few questions, Mr. President. In DepEd Order 3, we are institutionalizing the School-Based Feeding Program for School Year 2014-2015 for the severely wasted and undernourished?

[Escudero] Originally, as presented in NEP and GAB, it only covered 100% of the severely wasted and only 8% of the wasted. As amended by the Senate committee on finance, it will cover 100% of the severely wasted and 100% of the wasted.

What is the definition of the severely wasted and wasted?

[Escudero] SW is severe deficit in tissue and fat mass for the person's height. Sobrang payat sa kanyang taas. Ang wasted-- tanggalin lang ang salitang severe. Payat sa kanyang taas.

For the record, how many severely wasted and wasted are covered by the budget? Will it include all regions?

[Escudero] 533,425 severely wasted pupils, plus 1,385,039 wasted students for a total of 1.918,464 students to be covered for 120 feeding days nationwide

Halos 2 milyong estudyante ang magkakaroon ng benepisyo sa loob ng 120 araw.

[Escudero] Hindi lahat ng estudyante sa loob ng paaralan, iyong wasted and severely wasted lamang.

Magandang umpisa po ito. I would also like to request the DepEd that in rolling out this part project, the biggest in terms of the feeding program of recent that the Deped will have, if we can make sure that we have all necessary studies to support the monitoring of the program so we can use them as bases to push for the institutionalization of a standard feeding program. Ito talagang monitoring ay napakahalaga.

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