With its approval on third and final reading, the Baguio City Council has put into place a program to provide free meals for college students in the city.
The Free Youth Meals program earmarks an initial annual budget of P2 million for the first year of its implementation to provide 100 college students from low-income families or under student assistance programs as certified by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) a P1,000 monthly stipend with any excess to carry over from month to month, lasting for an entire academic year with the short term or midyear term covered.
Authored by Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales, the program would see eligible students provide proof of good grades and passing marks in all subjects in their public or private institutions, certification of no other government assistance programs being availed of, documents certifying status as low-income from the barangay, solo parent and person with disability (PWD) status if applicable, proof of employment as a student assistant in their institutions or a working student elsewhere, and endorsement and acceptance from the CSWDO after screening and interview from social workers.
Under the program, the city government will reimburse all youth meals consumed by the beneficiaries monthly through a food voucher system.
In order to ensure that the program does not run into hitches in implementation, a memorandum of agreement will be inked by the city government and the concerned higher education institutions for proper accounting.