THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is in constant endeavor of supporting small producers of agricultural products in continuation of its implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP).

DSWD continues to encourage its field offices and other program implementers to engage local farmers in the procurement of raw materials for feeding programs as stipulated in DSWD Administrative Order No. 4, Series of 2016 or the Amended Omnibus Guidelines in the Implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Program.

Based on the existing DSWD guidelines, the DSWD FOs prioritizes the involvement of local farmer’s organizations, which are composed of poor and smallholder farmers, in the procurement of rice, viands, and non-rice based snacks, through Community Participation as a Negotiated Procurement Modality.

Likewise, AO No. 4 requires at least 30 percent of the food requirements of Child Development Centers and Supervised Neighborhood Play areas to be purchased from local producers.

In addition, DSWD continues to procure fresh milk from local dairy producers through the partnership with the National Dairy Authority and the Philippine Carabao Center. The milk feeding program in 2020 covered some 52,013 beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, the Expanded Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP)-National Program Management Office is also currently coordinating with the Government Procurement and Policy Board for the enhancement of the Community Participation Procurement Manual.

This initiative aims to further expand the engagement of DSWD and local farmers in the implementation of SFP and will enable poor farmers and fisherfolk to meet the demands of the agency's feeding program.

Moreover, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the DSWD urges program implementers to acquire food commodities of the program beneficiaries from members of EPAHP, pursuant to the Memorandum Circular No. 12, series of 2021 or the Guidelines in the Implementation of SFP during Community Quarantine and Other Similar Emergencies.

Following the revised implementing guidelines, the collaborating local government unit and EPAHP partners are advised to tap organized groups such as Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations and Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organization, local community cooperatives or farmers or fisherfolk organizations to serve as service or product providers for their respective feeding programs.

Currently, DSWD is in the 11th cycle implementation of SFP.

As of October 31, more than one million children or 56 percent of the total target for the cycle were provided with nutritious foods. Likewise, for the current school year, milk feeding program targets to serve over 100,000 children across the country. This will open an opportunity for dairy farmers as the SFP is a guaranteed market for fresh milk.

The DSWD vows to continue to engage local producers in the conduct of feeding programs across the country.