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Duterte signs law creating feeding program for undernourished kids

Harry Roque

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque (File photo by RYAN LEAGOGO / INQUIRER.net)

Malacañang welcomed the signing of a law that aims to combat undernutrition by implementing a national feeding program for undernourished children in public daycare centers and in kindergarten and elementary schools.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law – “Masustansyang Pagkain Para Sa Batang Pilipino Act,” or Republic Act No. 11037 – on June 29.

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“The signing… is a clear proof of the President’s dedication to afford every Filipino child of the right to proper healthcare and nutrition benefits,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement. “It is a testament that the Duterte administration recognizes the importance of good nutrition to our children’s ability to develop into physically and mentally healthy individuals.”

Malacañang on Tuesday released the signed version of the law, of which Roque was the principal author when he was still a member of the House of Representatives.

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The law provides for a five-year feeding program for undernourished children in public daycare centers and in kindergarten and elementary schools in order to “combat hunger and undernutrition among Filipino children.”

“We consider it a sin for the government to be unable to spend billions worth of budget while around six million Filipino youths suffer from acute malnutrition,” Roque said.

He added that the new law would safeguard Filipino children “from the ill effects of undernourishment and subsequently enhance their learning capacities.”

The law provides for a school-based feeding program as well as supplemental feeding activities, milk-feeding, micronutrient supplements, deworming and vaccination to school-aged children.

Children will undergo health examinations, while a portion of land or space in schools will be devoted for the “Gulayan sa Paaralan” program to grow nutrient-rich vegetables and plants.

The program’s implementation will be prioritized in schools with the highest prevalence of undernutrition among children aged three years old up to those in sixth grade. /atm

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TAGS: Harry Roque, Masustansyang Pagkain Para Sa Batang Pilipino Act, Republic Act No. 11037, Rodrigo Duterte, undernourished children, undernutrition
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