March 5, 2024

The city council has approved Ordinance 96, s. 2023 or the “Baguio City Free Youth Meals for College Students Ordinance” which provides free daily meals to college students from low-income families and student assistants enrolled in any public or private higher educational institution in the city.
The ordinance aims to address the clamor of students for government support in the form of financial assistance, scholarship grants, student loans, and meal allowances.
The ordinance is a complementary program of the city government to reduce or eradicate student hunger and discourage them from disadvantageous, illicit, and illegal activities for alternative sources of income while also promoting proper health and nutrition to college students.
Researches about student welfare in Baguio showed that college or university students faced difficult choices to augment their allowances so they gamble, take part-time jobs, are into the micro or small businesses, engage in commercial sex, rent out bed space, and depend on relatives’ support.
The ordinance states this can be addressed by a sound education policy, which includes provision of free meals, apart from the earlier approved financial educational assistance grant which provides monetary assistance to college students per semester.
Residents currently enrolled in any college or university in Baguio is eligible for the free meals provided they meet the following criteria:
The student belongs to a low-income family; recommended by the City Social Welfare and Development Office based on their life circumstances such as, but not limited to working students whose parents are working in any government office; with solo parents; under the care of grandparents or other relatives other than their parents; with disability; and student assistants.
The student should also be able to maintain passing marks in all subjects with considerations as provided in Section 9 of the ordinance; and the student is not a recipient of any local government unit-provided subsidy.
Requirements are official endorsement by the school through the Student Affairs Office or other offices concerned, proof of passing marks in all subjects, certification from the CSWDO as proof that the student is not a recipient of any local government unit-based program.
If a parent is a solo parent, a solo parent identification; if with disability, a PWD ID; if a student-assistant, a certification from the university or college where he is enrolled; if a working student, company ID, or any other proof of employment; and final endorsement and acceptance from CSWDO after screening and interview from social workers per unit office.
Requirements shall only be submitted to the CSWDO or any of its unit offices. Endorsement from another office shall not be honored and the student will be removed from the list.
Allocation for the meals per eligible student shall not exceed P2,500 per month. Any unused amount shall be carried over to the succeeding months until completion of the current academic year. The program shall accommodate 100 college students with provision that upon the recommendation of the CSWDO, can be increased yearly but shall not be less than 100 beneficiaries.
Duration of the program shall be 12 months per academic year inclusive of the summer term. All students may renew yearly.
A food voucher system in coordination with a concessionaire and the Students Affairs Office for the payment of meals to beneficiaries will be implemented.
The CSWDO shall conduct an annual evaluation and assessment of the program as to its sustainability and effectiveness.
Partner schools shall also submit their recommendations to the CSWDO.
Beneficiaries are required to maintain passing marks in all their subjects with consideration that those with one failed subject in a semester shall be warned, while those with 30 percent failed subjects in a semester shall be delisted.
An amount of P2.6 million was appropriated under the CSWDO general fund for the first year of its implementation.
The ordinance was submitted to Mayor Benjamin Magalong for his signature.
The city council has approved in separate resolutions requests for the conduct of fundraising and livelihood activities in the central business district.
Resolution 729 for the Kagitingan barangay fundraiser at Lapu-Lapu Street from Dec. 20 to Jan. 1, 2024; Resolution 780 for Rizal Monument barangay in celebration of their barangay fiesta from Dec. 1 to 30 at the portion of Benjamin Salvosa Drive; Resolution 781 at Upper Q.M. for the community livelihood market for women at Jasmin Street from Dec. 15 to 31.
Resolution 782 for AZCKO barangay in line with the Nutrition Month activity of the barangay at the portion of Kayang Street from Dec. 15 to 31; Resolution 783, the Baguio Benguet Muslim Association, So Islam Na Atoran a Rangkom for dialysis and cancer patients at E. Jacinto Street from Dec. 13 to 26; and Resolution 784, Malcolm Square barangay fiesta fair at E. Jacinto Street from Dec. 27 to Jan. 6, 2024.
The approval is subject to conditions that all the participants shall secure barangay business clearance; clearance from the City Health Services Office for food stalls; and business tax; the barangay shall submit a stall plan showing the flow of human traffic; each stall shall only have a measurement of 2 meters x 2.5 meters; the barangay shall be responsible for keeping the area clean and orderly; management of pedestrians and traffic shall fall under the purview of the barangay; and the barangay shall provide event security.