RA 11037, the law which provides free meals at public schools has been passed. This is aligned to President Duterte’s earlier vow to provide a “comfortable life” for all Filipinos.
RA 11037 is also known as Masustansyang Pagkain Para Sa Batang Pilipino Act.
Sen. Bam Aquino, lauds the passage of the law.
The law will establish a national feeding program for children in public day care, kindergarten and elementary schools.
The new Philippine law aims to combat hunger and under-nutrition among Filipino children.
Under the law, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will implement a supplemental feeding program for daycare children while the Department of Education (DepEd) will enforce the school-based feeding program. The two programs involve the provision of one fortified meal to undernourished kids for not less than 120 days in a year. (MB)
The law also provides for the establishment of a milk feeding program, provision of micro-nutrient supplements, health examination and vaccination, vegetable gardening in schools, water and sanitation facilities, promote good hygiene, and nutrition education.
The government should also encourage schools to devote a portion of land or space for the cultivation of vegetables and other nutrient-rich plants.
Under RA 11037, the DepEd and the DSWD have been directed to create a five-year plan to fully implement the national feeding program. Funds for the program would be sourced from the budget of concerned government agencies.
Local government units are also allowed to use a portion of the Special Education Fund and their 20 percent development fund for the program.
The law also created a National Nutrition Information System to identify persons and localities that have the high incidence of hunger and under-nutrition.
Any donation made to the government agencies for the feeding program shall also be exempt from donor’s tax.