MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte has formally signed a law institutionalizing a national feeding program for undernourished Filipino children in public schools.
Duterte signed Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act (R.A 11037) last June 29, to address the problem of undernutrition among Filipino children in day care centers, kindergarten, and elementary.
This act is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1279 and House Bill No. 5269 passed on Mar. 20, 2018.
Under the law, the government shall provide a supplemental feeding program for day care children, a school-based feeding program for public school children from kinder to Grade 6, a milk-feeding program, a micronutrient feeding program, health examinations, vaccinations, and deworming among others.
The government should also encourage schools to devote a portion of land or space for the cultivation of vegetables and other nutrient-rich plants.
Water, sanitation, hygiene, and an integrated nutrition education, behavioral transformation, and social mobilization should also be in place to promote a holistic and integrated approach to health and nutrition education.
The law also includes the creation of a National Nutrition Information System which will harmonize all existing national and local nutrition databases to identify individuals, groups, and/or localities that have the highest magnitude of hunger and undernutrion.
It also calls for the participation of the private sector in the program.
Duterte earlier vowed to provide a “comfortable life” for all Filipinos. (PNA)