Press Release
November 26, 2016

Villar cites DSWD-Carabao Center partnership for school children's milk-feeding program

Sen. Cynthia Villar commended the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) for signing an agreement that will provide milk to school children and at the same time provide livelihood to poor dairy farmers.

During the hearing on Senate Bill 144 or the Philippine Native Animal Development Act on Wednesday, PCC Exec. Dir. Arnel del Barrio, informed Villar that on November 22, he signed an agreement with DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo on the Pilot Nutrition and Interventions through a Milk Supplementation Program under the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Under the agreement, some 10,000 children in pilot areas namely, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija; Talibon, Bohol; Damulog, Bukidnon; San Fernando, Bukidnon; and Maramag, Bukidnon will be given 200 ml of milk every day for the duration of 120 days from November 2016 to May 2017. Under the program, 2,019 liters of milk per day will be purchased from poor or small holder dairy farmers in the communities.

Villar has expressed disapproval over the dismal output of the dairy industry which stands at 1 percent of the demand. She suggested tying up the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) with a production component to help improve the agriculture sector.

The vice chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food cited the Thailand model where 6 million children are fed with 200 ml milk every day produced by local dairy farmers. The model proved to be successful with Thailand now producing 70 percent of their dairy need.

"This is a welcome development. I hope you will be able to expand it to other areas and to benefit more school children. This is the sort of project we should be replicating, the kind that shoots two birds with one stone--malnutrition among our children and poverty among farmers," Villar said.

Milk supplementation in addition to the regular meals of children in Child Development Centers (CDC) was proposed by PCC to address malnutrition while promoting the livelihood of poor/small holder dairy farmers in the community, pursuant to the government's thrust and priorities on the national milk feeding program.

Under the P13.3-million pilot convergence project, focal persons to provide guidance, orientation and technical assistance to the Social Welfare and Development Officers (SWDOs), CDC workers, Project Development Officers (PDOs), livelihood workers, LGU officials, and other stakeholders, will be designated.

DSWD will share with PCC the updated SFP food cycle menu/recipes to develop livelihood opportunities that may be established by SLP beneficiaries for the possible procurement of food items of alternative meals by the LGUs or the DSWD in the pilot CDC areas, such as milk-based soups, milk-based bread, cheese, and other milk-based food.

PCC will ensure that milk products delivered to CDCs are consistently manufactured and packed to a quality standard considering proper handling and storage that is free from pathogenic bacteria.

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