By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law which institutionalizes the national feeding program for schoolchildren and another which simplifies the process of child adoption.
Officials signed on Monday the IRR of RA No. 11037, the Masustansyang Pagkain Para sa Batang Pilipino Act, and Republic Act No. 11222, the Simulated Birth Rectification Act, during a ceremony held in the DSWD central office in Quezon City.
Senator Grace Poe, author of both laws, was also invited to witness the IRR signing. She lauded the development as this would green light the rollout of the two laws.
“I’m extremely glad the IRRs are done. Without them, the laws remain as dreams unfulfilled,” she said in her speech.
Under RA 11037 signed in 2018, undernourished children in public elementary school, kindergarten, and daycare centers shall be given free meals for at least 120 days.
Poe said she expects the feeding program law will have a smooth implementation in 2020. The Department of Education will receive P5.98 billion for its school-based feeding program, while the DSWD will get P3.6 billion for its free meals for preschoolers.
Around 4.2 million Filipino children will benefit from the law, she said.
Meanwhile, RA 11222 makes adoption process in the Philippines a simpler administrative proceeding by allowing the rectification of the simulated birth of a child.
“An administrative proceeding will hasten the process, minimize the cost, declog our courts, and prod more people to embark on the legal fast track to adopting a child,” Poe said.
Citing 2018 statistics, she said about 6,500 Filipino children are in need of a permanent home.
Of this number, 3,793 children have already been made legally available for adoption since 2009.
“I have said this before, but I share this with you again today, adopting one child may not change the world; but will certainly change the world for that child,” Poe, who was also legally adopted, said.