Bam pushes for ideal, effective feeding program in public schools

Senator Bam Aquino urged concerned government agencies and other stakeholders to help craft an ideal measure on the proposed feeding programs in all public schools to make it effective in addressing malnutrition and hunger among poor students.

“Let’s aim for the ideal and put together a bill with all of our collective knowledge, collective experiences, and best practices,” said Sen. Bam during the hearing of the Committee on Education on several measures pushing for feeding programs in public schools.

Different government agencies and private organizations, led by the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, all expressed support for the passage of Senate Bill Nos. 23, 123, 160, 694 and 548.

During the hearing, Sen. Bam also underscored the crucial role of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in the success of the proposed feeding program.

“We will make sure that DBM is there to help us compute how much this would cost. The government’s budget is indicative of its priority. If indeed this is our priority, we should be able to budget it better,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam has filed Senate Bill No. 694 or the “Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy” bill, which seeks to alleviate childhood malnutrition in the country through a feeding program for infants, public kindergarten and elementary school children.

“It will promote the health of children who are most in need, by providing regular and free access to nutritious food within a safe and clean school and community environment,” said Sen. Bam.

To enhance the social value of the measure, the proposal will utilize locally sourced and locally produced food products to support local farmers and farming communities, providing them with regular income and livelihood.

“This feeding program will help address not only child malnutrition but also poverty in the countryside,” said Sen. Bam.

Senate Bill No. 712: Right to Adequate Food Framework Act

In this day and age of technology, economic development, and social consciousness, it is inexcusable to allow our countrymen to grow hungry.

It is our duty to enhance the welfare of our citizens and ensure that every Filipino is given regular, permanent, and unrestricted access to sufficient food and nutrition.

The Adequate Food Framework Bill holds at its center this duty and responsibility, targeting the eradication of hunger across the Philippine islands in the next ten years.

In order to achieve this in a sustainable manner, this legislation will ensure that land devoted to food production shall be increased to 50% of all prime agricultural land in every region.

This measure also increases the coverage of school feeding programs, the public budget allocation for the marginalized and disadvantaged Filipinos who are unable to feed themselves, as well as research on agriculture, irrigation, and rural development.

To exercise due diligence, this measure proposes periodic reviews of compliance of set targets as well as the establishment of the Commission on the Right to Adequate Food, attached to the Commission on Human Rights, to ensure the proactive and efficient implementation of plans to achieve zero-hunger in the Philippines.

The least we can do for our poor countrymen is to actively pursue the eradication of hunger in the Philippines. I urge my colleagues to vote for the passing of this measure.

In view of the foregoing, the approval of this bill is earnestly sought.



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