Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy

Bam: ‘Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy’ to help combat hunger

Once passed into law, the Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy measure will help address the problem of hunger in the country, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

 Latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey indicated that an estimated 3.1 million Filipino families or 13.9 percent experienced involuntary hunger at least once during the 4th quarter of 2016.

 The result was slightly higher than the 11.7 percent or 2.6 million in December 2015.

 “Malaki ang maitutulong ng panukalang ito upang mabawasan ang insidente ng kagutuman sa hanay ng ating mga kabataan sa bansa kapag ito’y naisabatas,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor and co-author of Senate Bill No. 1279, which is currently being tackled by the plenary.

 Sen. Bam’s Senate Bill No. 694 was consolidated in Senate Bill No. 1279 together with Senate Bill Nos. 23, 123, 160 and 548.

 “Sa lakas ng suportang nakuha ng panukalang ito, inaasahan natin na ito’y maisasabatas sa lalong madaling panahon upang agad na makatulong sa pagtugon sa problema ng kagutuman,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Education.

The measure will mandate the Department of Education to ensure that students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 are provided with proper and nutritious meals.

“Through this policy, school children in the kindergarten and elementary levels will enjoy free regular access to nutritious food with the DepEd ensuring that students from kindergarten to grade 6 are provided with proper meals,” Sen. Bam said.

Under the proposed measure, the feeding program will source produce from local farmers and fishermen to provide them with regular income and livelihood.

“Sa Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy Act, lalaki nang malakas, matalino at malusog ang kabataang Pilipino habang umaasenso ang buhay ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” said Sen. Bam.

Based on 2012 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 16 million Filipino children are considered undernourished.

 Studies also show that the average age of the 11 million Filipino farmers and fishermen is 57 years old while the average annual income of a farmer is only about P20,000.

The bill also pushes for the “Gulayan sa Paaralan” program to promote gardening in schools and households to help augment the food needs of the program and instill a sense of appreciation for food production within the community.

Bam seeks to eradicate hunger in 10 years

In an effort to eradicate hunger in the next 10 years, Sen. Bam Aquino has submitted a measure seeking to ensure regular, permanent and unrestricted access to food and nutrition for every Filipino.

 “In this day and age of technology, economic development, and social consciousness, it is inexcusable to allow our countrymen to grow hungry,” said Sen. Bam in Senate Bill No. 712 or the Right to Adequate Food Framework Act.

 “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,” he added.

 Explaining his measure, Sen. Bam it will ensure that land devoted to food production shall be increased to 50 percent of all prime agricultural land in every region.

 The measure will also increase 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.

 A Commission on the Right to Adequate Food under the Commission on Human Rights, will be established to ensure its compliance and implementation to ensure 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,” Sen. Bam said.

 The senator also seeks to alleviate childhood malnutrition in the Philippines 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,” Sen. Bam said in Senate Bill No. 694 or the “Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy” Bill.

 In a study called “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012”, conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a total of 16 million Filipinos were considered undernourished from 2010 to 2012.

 Aside from eradicating hunger, the measure will also help alleviate poverty by tapping small-scale producers as sources of 30 percent or more for the supplies for the program.

 These two measures will complement the senator’s Zero Food Waste Act (SBN 357) that called for supermarkets and restaurants to donate unserved food to the poor through food banks.

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