By Vanne Terrazola
Senator Grace Poe is pushing for a P2-billion increase of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) proposed 2018 budget for the full implementation of the school-based feeding program.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, on Saturday said the additional funding would be used for procurement of equipment necessary for the establishment of new and upgrading of existing school kitchens with adequate storage facilities.
The DepEd has allocated P5.3 billion in its P612.11-billion proposed 2018 budget for the feeding program. It targets to feed 2.5 million “wasted” and “severely wasted” — or those with chronic malnutrition — Kinder to Grade 6 students nationwide for a total of 120 feeding days.
In pushing the measure seeking to institutionalize the feeding program, Poe earlier underscored that the lack in kitchen facilities and equipment in public is tantamount to hampering the mission to provide education and nutrition.
She said the initiative is important to ensure that the targeted 2.5 million children will be properly supported next year.
“Kailangan natin ng sapat at wastong pasilidad para makapaghanda ng masustansyang pagkain para sa milyong mga bata sa ilalim ng programa. Mamuhunan tayo sa kinabukasan ng ating kabataan sa pagsuporta sa kanilang nutrisyon,” Poe said.