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PIA Press Release

Gulayan program expands to all barangays of Kalinga

TABUK CITY (13 August) -- Recognizing the high impact of the Gulayan Para Sa Masa Program of government on the health and nutrition of the people, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has expanded it to all 152 barangays of the province.

This development was announced by Alpha Lumiked, Gulayan Program Focal Person of DA-CAR during the turn-over ceremony of the P142,151 worth of certified vegetable seeds here last week. This includes 720 cans of squash, 288 cans of Amplaya, 242 cans of Pechay seeds, 112 cans of okra seeds, 77 cans of bush sitaw and 10 cans of kangkong.

The Gulayan program initially covered only the 63 barangays of Kalinga falling as malnourished barangays in the survey conducted by the Provincial. Health Office in 2005.

This year, Kalinga is included under Priority 2 in the CAR advocacy against malnutrition because of its high malnutrition rate of 16.9%, one of the highest in the region. But the province aims to reduce it to 8.9%, this year.

We can not do this if we cover only a portion of Kalinga, that is why we expanded the program to the entire province, Lumiked said.

The Gulayan program launched here last January, is the key program of President Gloria Arroyo's Hunger Mitigation and Poverty Alleviation agenda through provision of sustainable agri-base source of food.

Another update revealed by Lumiked is the launching of Gulayan Para Sa Paaralan, giving focus to school children who are primary target of the nutrition program. The move will develop passion among school children to get back to the soil, and encourage them to eat and plant vegetables, she stressed.

While we welcome new knowledge for our young children brought about by information technology, it is equally important to introduce them to the basics of agriculture, especially for us who live in an agriculture-base province like Kalinga, Lumiked said.

She said that the Gulayan Para sa Paaralan was incorporated in the program after a Social Weather Station (SWS) survey revealed that there is a high malnutrition rate among grade school pupils in the public schools.

"DA is giving focus on the Gulayan Para sa Paaralan from July to December," she said informing that the agency will be coordinating with the school administrators with regards to the implementation of the program which is expected to cover more than 200 public elementary schools in the province.

Expressing her support for the program, Kalinga Governor Floydelia Diasen underscored in her message the importance of providing good nutrition to school children seven years and below.

"The first seven years of the child is very important considering that this is the child's brain development phase. At this stage they need to receive the required nutrition necessary to help them become productive citizens who will also be contributing for the progress of our province and the country in the future," the governor said. (PIA Kalinga) [top]

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