Thursday, November 20, 2014

DSWD to get P3.4 B for free meals for 2 M underweight kids

MANILA-Government’s massive feeding program for undernourished children next year will cover even those not yet in school, as two million 2 to 5 year old tots will be fed healthy meals by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said today.

Recto said this will be made possible through a P3.36 billion allocation in DSWD’s P109 billion budget for 2015.      

Recto said there will be “a division of labor” in government in erasing the nutritional deficiencies of millions of “wasted and severely wasted” children.

The DSWD will take care of those not yet in school while the Department of Education will undertake its own supplemental feeding program for 1.93 million gradeschoolers courtesy of a P3.8 billion allocation in the national budget.

The Senate, he said, has raised the Education department’s schoolfeeding budget by P2.49 billion.

“Combined, the budget for supplemental feeding is about  P7.2 billion while the total number of beneficiaries will reach almost four million,” Recto said.

DSWD's program involves serving one hot meal a day for 120 days to 2,053,383 2-5 year olds in daycare centers, or those under the care of neighborhood associations or community nurseries.

Bulk of the funds will be coursed through local governments, Recto said.  

“But the implementation will be handled by a local consortium which will include the parents of beneficiaries, barangay councils, and civic groups.”

“I think the program will operate under the motto ‘It takes a village to feed a hungry child,’” he said. 

Recto said the Senate Finance subcommittee he chairs has also recommended to increase the DSWD budget for care and nutritional needs of streetchildren by P50 million. 

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