PAMPANGA

Pangan: Special programs for school children

At Close Range

WE HAVE in our midst several millions of undernourished, stunted children--school children, that is.

This, in spite of millions of pesos in funds earmarked for their nutrition.

Now, in this ambitious school-feeding program euphemistically called Supplemental Feeding Program, two government departments, namely, the Department of Education and Department of Social Welfare and Development, are tasked to implement this ambitious yet sensible program.

This time, the government is embarking on a house-to-house distribution of nutritious meals for undernourished school children at the start of classes by October 5.

According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the meals include iron-fortified rice, enhanced nutrition, instant laing and pinakbet aimed to improve the school children's health and prevent stunting. This house-to-house distribution system is resorted to because face-to-face classes are not yet allowed.

This program is laudable but skeptics observe that with the government's inefficient system, it could go the way the Social Amelioration Program suffered hitches and fumbles with barangay officials getting a big chunk of the funds. Ha ha.

With the Supplemental Feeding Program, many observers suggest close monitoring of the distribution of the meals, avoiding their monetization, or turning into cash out of the voluminous meals, di ba?

***

A climate emergency. Environmental group Greenpeace Philippines has urged President Duterte to declare a climate emergency to help the country achieve its goals under the Paris Agreement, to which the Philippines is a signatory. The countries signatories aimed to prevent the planet's temperature from rising by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Coal is mainly the culprit in the rise of the earth's temperature. Add to this are fuel fossils.

Among Asean members, only Vietnam obtained a passing score with C in Greenpeace's scorecard. The Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand got hardly passing grades while Indonesia scored an F, the lowest in the region because of its addiction to coal.

If President Duterte makes good his commitment, then the Philippines might pass the environmental group's scoring, but this president is known often to waver and bluster on his commitments. Well...


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