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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. 663: Nurse in Every Public School Act

Delivering quality education isn’t just a matter of delivering instructional modules inside the classroom. Quality education, that every Filipino child deserves, is holistic in nature. It is concerned with the whole self- physical, mental and spiritual.

With a fifth of the Filipino populace under the poverty line, health-related issues of school children abound, thus hampering their ability to learn and retain lessons and skills. Some students might even be forced to skip school days due to sickness, further impeding their ability to learn.

Thus, this measure proposes that students’ access to basic health care services in schools be assured by requiring every public school to employ at least one registered nurse to look after the health and nutritional needs of its students.

Nurses are as important as other support personnel in the school system.1 They attend to the physical and mental-health needs of students. They can even spearhead programs to promote nutrition and contribute health-related content in the curriculum.

Having a nurse in every school emphasizes the value of health, nutrition and well­ being as part of the formation of our Filipino children.

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


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