DBM: Food-for-School to be redesigned, not scrapped
Malacañang, Manila – Department of Budget and Management Secretary Butch Abad today clarified that the food-for-school program will be redesigned and not altogether scrapped, as part of the reallocation proposals resulting from the zero-
based budgeting process.
“Di naman sa tuluyan nating tatangalin ang food-for-school program, kundi itutuwid natin ang paggamit ng pondo para dito at sisiguraduhin nating masmagiging epektibo ang pagsasagawa nito. Nakita kasi naming na hindi lahat ng dapat mabigyan ay nabibigyan,” said Abad.
Abad also said that leakages were discovered in the program and certain changes will be proposed on its mode of implementation in order to benefit people in a more targeted manner.
“For example, we’re looking at consolidating the food-for-school funds with those of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program since these programs have overlapping beneficiaries and objectives. This would perhaps result to an expanded conditional cash transfer that would not only mean a more efficient use of resources, but would also be more beneficial to targeted recipients. Also, we are seeing that DSWD is better structured to implement this program than DepEd,” said Abad. Abad however pointed out that while the food-for-schools program will be redesigned, its salient objectives such as encouraging students to attend school in order to reduce drop-outs will remain to be priorities.
Following orders by President Aquino to adapt a budget process that will prioritize relevant and effective programs, the DBM has been conducting a thorough review of various government projects in coordination with concerned agencies.
“Ang food-for-school program ay isa lang sa mga programang aayusin natin upang masigurado na ang paggamit ng kaban ng bayan– kulang at kaunti man, ay magiging kapaki-pakinabang sa mga talagang nangangailangan,” Abad said. “So we encourage the agencies to look into the programs they are implementing and see which of these are aligned with President Aquino’s priorities and are really responsive to the needs of the people,” he added.