DepEd revives vegetable gardens in public schools

Dr. Nenita Golez, South Cotabato schools division superintendent, said she will issue a memorandum to all school heads instructing them to lead the planting of vegetables and fruit trees in their respective schools.

She announced the plan during the recent formal launching of FSP, which aims to mitigate hunger among pre-schoolers, grade one pupils and their families, in three towns  of the province.

Golez directed the principals and administrators of public schools in Tantangan, Sto. Nino and Tampakan towns to start developing their vegetable gardens to help sustain the implementation of the program.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes earlier requested local school administrators to go back to basic nutrition and bring back school gardening to teach children about its importance to their health.

Fuentes believes that the implementation of complementary programs like vegetable gardening is essential in reducing the rate of malnutrition in the province.

The provincial government earlier adopted the Food Always in the Home or Faith technology to complement the implementation of FSP.

Fuentes said the provincial government will also distribute vegetable seedlings for the schools, sponsor seminars on Faith technology, organic farming and responsible parenthood.

Initially, the Provincial Agriculture Office would provide two sacks of organic fertilizers to the schools covered by the FSP program for at least ninety days and vegetable seeds produced by the Institute of Plant Breeding at the University of the Philippines Los Banos.

FSP is currently serving 4,278 beneficiaries in three municipalities through the provision of a kilo of rice every day for each beneficiary.

The program is pursuant to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's instruction to intensify efforts to address hunger among school children and their families by providing food subsidies.(Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)