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The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) teamed up with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to implement the supplementary feeding program (SFP) during the community quarantine period.

DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Office Emily O. Padilla has directed all the DAR regional directors (RDs) to collaborate with the local government units (LGUs) and to tap organized groups such as Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations, agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs), local community cooperatives farmers/fisherfolk associations as partner/service providers to implement the supplementary feeding program.

“The DSWD is one of our partners in the implementation of the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program that addresses hunger and poverty issues through the merging of essential services of various government agencies that would directly benefit the poorer sector of the country,” Padilla said

The SFP, one of the various programs being collaborated by the DAR with the DSWD, is the provision of food, in addition to the regular meals, targeting children 3 to 4 years old enrolled in Child Development Centers and 2 to 4 years old children in Supervised Neighborhood Play.

Padilla has instructed all the DAR regional directors to assist the ARBOs for their active engagement in SFP and to coordinate immediately with the DSWD local counterpart.

She clarified that the guideline addresses the disrupted implementation of DSWD’s SFP due to the cancellation of classes brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The SFP is DSWD’s contribution to the Early Childhood Care and Development based on Republic Act 22037 or the “Masustansyang Pagkain Para Sa Batang Pilipino Act” of 2018.

Due to the national crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 922, series of 2020, declaring a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines and Republic Act 11469 otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act” directing all agencies to provide support services to curtail the impact of health and economic emergencies to all vulnerable sectors which include children of formative years.

The SFP shall cover the continued implementation of the feeding program during the community quarantine period, covering the 2019 and 2020 cycles, until the required 120 feeding days has been completed.

The program may be stretched into the succeeding cycles in case the period of community quarantine will be extended longer than the original schedule. An amount of PHP15 per child per day is allocated for a maximum of 120 feeding days.

“The funds may be downloaded to the LGUs, collaborating EPAHP partners or government agencies and may utilize Community Participation Procurement modality in the procuring of goods. Field offices may conduct a twice-a-day feeding for severely underweight and underweight children,” she said.

Padilla said the LGUs, donors, and other partner stakeholders may augment the existing fund for any additions in the quantity of the items, either food or non-food or any other administrative cost that the program may require. She said the fund for milk is only for identified areas in partnership with the National Dairy Authority and Philippine Carabao Center.

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