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BACOLOD City – The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) is requesting the city’s Urban Basic Services Division and the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) to implement Republic Act (RA) 11037, or the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act.

Having been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 20, the law institutionalizes a national feeding program for undernourished Filipino children.

Its main implementers are the Education and Social Welfare departments.

RA 11037 allows local government units to use a portion of their Special Education Fund and 20-percent Development Fund for the program.

The Urban Basic Services Division and the DSSD are the city’s implementing arms for programs on basic services.

Councilor Cindy Rojas, chairwoman of the SP committee on family and child care development, said every Bacolodnon child must have proper nutrition.

This can be achieved through the proper implementation of the law, Rojas added.

RA 11037 provides for the establishment of a supplemental feeding program for children aged three to five attending day care centers.

The children must receive one “fortified meal” for a period of not less than 120 days in a year.

A fortified meal is a “meal with deliberately increased content of essential micronutrients so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food and provide the level of calories and protein as prescribed by the National Nutrition Council,” the law stated.

The Education department must also implement a school-based feeding program for undernourished public school children from kindergarten to Grade 6.

Children under this program must also receive one fortified meal for a period of not less than 120 days in a year.

The law also provides for a milk feeding program, wherein fresh milk and fresh milk-based food products must be incorporated in the fortified meals and standardized menus from national government agencies./PN

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