January 29, 2017
Bam: 'Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy' to help combat hunger
Once passed into law, the Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy measure will help address the problem of hunger in the country, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.
Latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey indicated that an estimated 3.1 million Filipino families or 13.9 percent experienced involuntary hunger at least once during the 4th quarter of 2016.
The result was slightly higher than the 11.7 percent or 2.6 million in December 2015.
"Malaki ang maitutulong ng panukalang ito upang mabawasan ang insidente ng kagutuman sa hanay ng ating mga kabataan sa bansa kapag ito'y naisabatas," said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor and co-author of Senate Bill No. 1279, which is currently being tackled by the plenary.
Sen. Bam's Senate Bill No. 694 was consolidated in Senate Bill No. 1279 together with Senate Bill Nos. 23, 123, 160 and 548.
"Sa lakas ng suportang nakuha ng panukalang ito, inaasahan natin na ito'y maisasabatas sa lalong madaling panahon upang agad na makatulong sa pagtugon sa problema ng kagutuman," said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Education.
The measure will mandate the Department of Education to ensure that students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 are provided with proper and nutritious meals.
"Through this policy, school children in the kindergarten and elementary levels will enjoy free regular access to nutritious food with the DepEd ensuring that students from kindergarten to grade 6 are provided with proper meals," Sen. Bam said.
Under the proposed measure, the feeding program will source produce from local farmers and fishermen to provide them with regular income and livelihood.
"Sa Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy Act, lalaki nang malakas, matalino at malusog ang kabataang Pilipino habang umaasenso ang buhay ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda," said Sen. Bam.
Based on 2012 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 16 million Filipino children are considered undernourished.
Studies also show that the average age of the 11 million Filipino farmers and fishermen is 57 years old while the average annual income of a farmer is only about P20,000.
The bill also pushes for the "Gulayan sa Paaralan" program to promote gardening in schools and households to help augment the food needs of the program and instill a sense of appreciation for food production within the community.
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