169 schools to implement Gulayan program in Mt. Province
by Juliet B. Saley
BONTOC, Mt. Province (7 September) -- About 169 elementary and secondary schools in the province are the initial target beneficiaries of the Gulayan sa Bawat Paaralan which the Department of Education will be implementing in support to the government's hunger mitigation and poverty alleviation efforts.
The Gulayan sa Paaralan is a tie-up with the "Programang Agrikultura Para sa Masa" of the Department of Agriculture.
The program aims to increase vegetable consumption and reduce prevalence of malnutrition among school-age children. It is also seen to foster public awareness on both the health, nutritional and economic benefits of establishing school, household and community gardens.
Gulayan will also utilize organic gardening technologies to produce selected varieties of vegetables that will address the protein, energy, vitamin A and iron deficiencies of students.
According to Mary Buanzi of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG), the designated focal persons of the Gulayan sa Paaralan, the initial 169 public and private school beneficiaries will undergo an orientation on how to implement the program in their own respective schools.
Buanzi said the orientation which will start on the third week of this month will be conducted by batch with the municipalities of Barlig, Bontoc and Sadanga as the first batch. The second batch is composed of the municipalities of Bauko, Tadian and Sabangan; and the third batch are the municipalities of Besao and Sagada.
The towns of Natonin and Paracelis shall have a one-day orientation each on the fourth week of this month, Buanzi added.
She said various vegetable seeds like pechay, eggplant, ampalaya, sitao, bell pepper provided by the DA-CAR will be distributed during the orientation.
Buanzi explained that whatever harvest the school children have, they will not bring it home, instead they will cook them in the school and all the school children will eat in the school.
The school gardens shall serve as main source of commodities to sustain supplementary feeding.
Reports have it that two billion people are iron deficient, half of which are pregnant women in Asia. Another two billion people, suffer from zinc deficiency, while it was estimated that about 25 million children are hobbled by Vit. A deficiency.
The same health problems are experienced by millions of Filipinos, particularly children and pregnant women, according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute. (PIA MP) [top]