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Legarda: Improved Feeding Program for Children Under 2017 Nat’l Budget

December 20, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda today said that the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is expected to improve with the additional budget allocated for it in the proposed 2017 national budget.

 

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that funds within the Department were realigned to add one billion pesos to the SFP.

 

“We want to provide better support for this program, which aims to improve the nutritional status of the targeted beneficiaries. Moreover, since the feeding program is being managed by parents, it improves the knowledge, attitude and practices of children, parents and caregivers in nutrition and health education,” she said.

 

The SFP is the provision of food in addition to the regular meals of targeted children for a cycle of 120 days. It is DSWD’s contribution to the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program of the government.

 

Target beneficiaries of the program are 2-4 year old children in supervised neighborhood play (SNP), 3-4 year old children enrolled in Day Care Centers, and even 5-year old children not yet enrolled in the Department of Education (DepEd) pre-school but are enrolled in Day Care Centers.

 

Parents who manage the program follow a prepared meal cycle using available indigenous food supplies. The usual menu includes rice, meat or fish, and vegetable dish like adobong manok with saba, pesang isda with kamote, sarciadong itlog with upo, vegetable patties, and fruits.

 

Legarda said she hopes to further improve the program so that the raw ingredients are sourced from vegetable gardens in house backyards, communities and DepEd schools.

 

The DepEd already has Gulayan sa Paaralan program, while the household beneficiaries of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are encouraged to engage in organic backyard and communal farming.

 

“We want to promote the concept of eating what we plant. Since organic farming is part of the development sessions for 4Ps families, we hope we can start implementing it strictly. I think it is very doable because if there is no available land, they can do vertical garden farming or communal farming instead,” said Legarda.

 

The SFP is currently on its 6th cycle. Every cycle starts at the opening of the school year. As of November 2016, 1,429,129 beneficiaries or 64.04% of the overall target were served. The improvement and the nutritional status of the beneficiaries are determined every after completion of the 120-day cycle.