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Feeding program extension urged

Keith A. Calayag

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A minority lawmaker is proposing for the inclusion of secondary school students in the national feeding program of the government.

Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo suggested this in House Bill 5907 — which seeks to amend Republic Act 11037 or the law that institutionalized feeding program for kindergarten and elementary students — to also include secondary students.

In the bill, Quimbo said the potential for learning is diminished if children suffer from hunger and extreme poverty.

According to her, 24.5 percent of school children ages 6 to 10 are stunted while 7.6 percent of them are wasted.

In the case of adolescent children, 26.3 percent of them are stunted while 11.3 percent are wasted.

“The nutritional status of high school students is every bit as alarming as that of elementary school children,” Quimbo noted.

She added that younger children should also be covered among the beneficiaries of the law, since nutrition needed at formative years is crucial to ensuring that incidences of stunted or wasted growth are avoided.

The Department of Education, in consultation with the National Nutrition Council, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the Department of Health, aside from other agencies are tasked to promulgate the rules and regulations for the implementation of the proposed measure.

The bill was referred to the committee on basic education and culture last 20 January.

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