Press Release
November 17, 2016


Sen. Grace Poe: I just have a few questions for DSWD. The area of my concern is particularly on the supplemental feeding program for children. I think the DSWD is tasked to take care of certain daycare centers. I know that there was a P4.2-billion budget in 2016 but was reduced to P3.42 billion (in 2017). Is there a reason behind the reduction of the budget?

Sen. Loren Legarda: Yes, thank you. First of all I welcome Senator Poe's interpellation and her asking us about the supplemental feeding program. That has been her advocacy which I support and in fact, earlier, we were talking about the convergence of the PAHP or the Program Against Hunger Plan, it's a convergence of various agencies which would include the Nutrition Council under the Department of Health, the Department of Education as well, and their supplementary feeding program. I am informed that there was no cut in the budget. It was just moved to the DepEd's feeding program.

Poe: So the DepEd's feeding program has increased with the transfer of about a billion from the DSWD? Is there a reason for this? Is the DepEd taking care of more daycare centers?

Legarda: They fixed it according to age. If it's school age, it goes to DepEd in terms of the feeding program. There's a decline in the number of five-year old children enrolled in child development centers because of the implementation of the Kindergarten Education Act and the Enhanced Basic Education Act which has mandatory and compulsory kindergarten education. For 2017 the target will now exclude five year old children since they are assumed to be enrolled in the preschool. So five and up will be DepEd.

Poe: Will they be fed in the DepEd preschools? That's part of the budget?

Legarda: Who are the beneficiaries? The 2-4 years old will be supervised, neighborhood play; the 3-4 years old under child development center. They assured us that all ages for the feeding program are covered and that DSWD and DepEd put together will cover all the ages.

Poe: I just want this for the record, all 2-4 year olds in their child development centers will actually be receiving, is this lunch, breakfast or a snack?

Legarda: Hot meals composed of rice and viand.

Poe: I would just like to ask the secretary for a copy of the menu later on just for reference.

Legarda: Hot meals. Rice and viand. During break time, morning and afternoon. 5 days a week for 120 days.

Poe: This is for all over the Philippines?

Legarda: Through the LGUs.

Poe: Quickly for the next question. Is it true that the proposed 20 kilos of rice monthly allowance for the CCT beneficiaries was removed and converted to cash? Has this been answered?

Legarda: It has been discussed during the hearing. The reason ..We're simply amending the manner in which the rice allowance will be given and it's more convenient to give it as cash grant because of the difficulty of giving the rice coupons and the economic managers during the DBCC agreed that it's more efficient to give it in cash and that's contained in the special provision in the budget.

Poe: One last question, for the CCT beneficiaries, is there an effort from the DSWD to include a financial literacy program? There is...

Legarda: Financial literacy is part of the family development sessions.

Poe: May we also ask for a copy of that also for reference.

Legarda: Kindly give the senator a copy, a comprehensive report of your supplemental feeding program not covered by DEPED. Second, of the family development sessions which include the financial literacy program.

Poe: That's all, thank you Mr. President.

Legarda: Thank you, Sen. Poe.

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