ILOILO – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has appropriated P72.9-million for the implementation of supplementary feeding among malnourished children in the province of Iloilo this year.
Of the total budget, P56.1-million is meant for the purchase of vegetables and fruits while P16.8-million is for iron-fortified rice, according to Salvacion Gayoma, regional focal person of the program.
Gayoma disclosed that P41.8-million has been transferred to the concerned local government units in the province last month.
The aid from DSWD aimed to reach 46,791 pupils enrolled in 1,743 day care centers in 42 towns and one component city in Iloilo, she said.
Gayoma added that they are inclined to widen the reach of the program since notable changes in the children’s health status can be seen after 120 days of continuous feeding.
She also stressed that initiatives like supplementary feeding must be prioritized knowing that Iloilo ranked second in the region with high malnutrition rate (8.56%).
Such rate is tantamount to 21,877 malnourished children living mostly in Badiangan (18.06%), Batad (17.03%), Maasin (16.77%), Balasan (16.21%), and Carles (15.08%).
DSWD’s supplemental feeding program is targeted to day care pupils aged two to five years old.
It is implemented in response to the 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey conducted by the National Statistics Office which showed that 11% of Filipino families are food poor.
Supplementary feeding along with DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services and Sustainable Livelihood Program, also seeks to achieve Millennium Development Goal No. 1 – eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)