House OKs school feeding program | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

House OKs school feeding program | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com.

By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 17, 2015 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a bill that seeks to institutionalize a feeding program in public pre-schools and elementary schools nationwide.

Approved on Wednesday night was House Bill 5618 or the proposed National School Feeding Program Act that aims to address incidence of malnutrition, declining academic performance and dropouts among school children.

Authors of the measure said the bill also aims “to promote the health of our future generation and to provide a favorable policy environment towards national self-sufficiency in food.”

Among the authors of the bill are Reps. Lani Mercado-Revilla, Manny Pacquiao, Zenaida Angping, Henry Oaminal, Martin Romualdez, Fernando Hicap, Jaye Lacson-Noel, Sol Aragones, Kimi Cojuangco, Romero Quimbo, Rodel Batocabe, Rufus Rodriguez, Arthur Yap, Leopoldo Bataoil, Luzviminda Ilagan, Mark Villar, Gina de Venecia, Peter Unabia, Silvestre Bello, Sharon Garin, Lito Atienza, Isidro Ungab, Jonathan dela Cruz and Kit Belmonte.

The bill mandates the provisions of free meals, including milk, for all public kindergarten and elementary pupils to be implemented by the Departments of Education (DepEd), Social Welfare and Development, Agriculture, Interior and Local Government, National Nutrition Council, National Dairy Authority and local government units.

The measure tasks the DepEd to encourage the involvement of parents in the national school feeding program, and Congress to appropriate funds annually for it.

The measure also provides tax incentives to private agricultural companies and other firms for donating food, milk, juices, vitamin supplements and similar products to the national school feeding program.

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