Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country, the Department of Education (DepEd) is eyeing to deliver food to the households of students under its School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP).
DepEd Undersecretary and spokesperson Nepomuceno Malaluan during a Senate hearing last week discussed the changes in the Implementation of SBFP amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The mode of delivery, Malaluan said, is “changed from school-based administration of the actual feeding to delivery to households.” As from the mode of delivery, he noted that there will be changes in target beneficiaries, type of feeding commodity, and the number of feeding days.
From wasted and severely wasted K-to-6 learners, Malaluan said that the target beneficiaries of the SBFP this year was changed to “all incoming kindergarten learners and the Grade 1 to Grade 6 learners who were wasted and severely wasted” based on the SBFP report for School Year (SY) 2019-2020, except those students who have moved to Grade 7.
Malaluan said that the type of feeding commodity will also be changed from the “provision of usual hot meals to ration of nutritious food products.” He noted that a DepEd order has been issued to provide the Operational Guidelines on the Implementation of the SBFP for SY 2020-2021.
The revised guidelines on SBFP, Malaluan said, will accommodate changes in the implementation of the program as “affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Particularly, the SY 2020-2021 SBFP outlined changes in the number of feeding days since it was adjusted based on the remaining number of school days” for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.
“The possible consideration on the provision of hot meals as a modality may be subject to supplemental guidelines,” Malaluan said.
Odinarily, Malaluan noted that a feeding period of 120 days is “ideal to achieve a significant impact on the nutritional status of children.”
However, due to the changes in the school calendar and in consideration of the “possible lapse of the funds” by year-end, the feeding period for SY 2020-2021 has been reduced to 60 days for the regular component such as nutritious food products and 50 days for the milk component like fresh or sterilized milk.