PGMA ups Food-for-School budget to P3.3 billion
Manila (23 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has increased the budget for her Food-for-School Program (FSP) in 2008 to P3.3 billion to further bolster the government's hunger and poverty mitigation measures.
The increase represents a 1.2 percent jump from this year's FSP allocation of P2.75 billion.
Aside from the FSP, other hunger mitigation measures that will receive significant budgetary hikes are the Tindahan Natin and Barangay Food Terminals (BFTs).
The President announced the increase in next year's FSP appropriation during a barangay interaction Friday at the Elementary School in Barangay Project 6, Quezon City.
She also said that the government has allocated P181 million for other hunger mitigation measures, resulting in the establishment of 6,583 Tindahan Natin outlets in the most depressed areas in 52 provinces nationwide.
The President added that 200 more Tindahan Natin outlets would be established in Metro Manila before the year ends.
During the barangay interaction, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap informed the President that 20 BFTs now operating in Quezon City, Manila, Taguig, Pasay, Caloocan, Navotas and Bulacan are providing residents of these areas direct access to low-priced farm products such as meat and vegetables.
Yap said that about 400,000 families, or more than two million individuals in Metro Manila and in the poorest provinces, directly benefit from the BFTs.
The number of BETs is expected to increase to 60 before the year ends.
The government's war on hunger and poverty has resulted in a significant drop in the hunger incidence from 19 percent in the first quarter of 2007 to 17.7 percent in the second quarter. (PIA) [top]