Councilor mulls giving meals to schoolchildren

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Friday, May 2, 2014

IF THE City Council approves the proposal of Councilor Gerardo Carillo, public day care, pre-school and public elementary students in Cebu City will get free meals.

Carillo, chairperson of the committee on social services, said his proposal aims to prevent students from dropping out of school.

“This is to encourage students to go to school,” he said. “Among nakita na daghan estudyante di muadto og eskwelahan kay gutom. Kung muadto man og skwelahan nga gutom, di maka hunahuna og tarong (Many students don’t go to school because they have nothing to eat while those who still go on an empty stomach cannot think properly),” he said in an interview yesterday.


He said his proposal seeks to address the prevalence of malnutrition among public elementary school students in the city.

In 2010, the National Nutrition Council 7 ranked Cebu City fifth in the list of areas in Central Visayas with high malnutrition.

Carillo said he wants City Hall to give at least one free nutritious meal per day will be given to day care, kindergarten and public elementary students in the city.

The Cebu City Nutrition Council, he said, will help the City Government in preparing nutritious food.

Carillo said the City Government will most likely spend P10 million to P15 million a year for the program.

He said the City's Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS) has already identified possible sources of funding for the program, including the P15 million financial assistance that the Department of Social Welfare Development gives for the City’s feeding programs in the barangays.

Carillo said the City can also use the P20 million under the Accelerated Social Amelioration Program (Asap).

DSWS Chief Ester Concha said they cannot say yet how many would benefit from the proposal as they are still asking the Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu City Division for the list of students.

Carillo said he will file the proposed ordinance before the council in the coming weeks.
He said he hopes to have the ordinance passed this year so it can be implemented in the 2015-2016 school year.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 03, 2014.

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