By Philippine News Agency
BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Education (DepEd) in Cordillera is urging schools in the region to adopt available urban gardening systems to sustain their feeding programs for students and at the same time impart the value of healthy eating.
Deped-Cordillera Medical Officer Dr. Angeline Calatan said on Wednesday some schools in the region, particularly those in the highly-urbanized areas like Baguio City, La Trinidad town in Benguet province, and Tabuk City in Kalinga province, find it hard to sustain their “Gulayan sa Paaralan Project” (vegetable garden in school) due to lack of available space for planting.
She, however, pointed out that there are practical urban gardening systems being introduced, which the schools could easily adopt, specifically for growing vegetables.
She said urban gardening could use the walls of buildings for hanging pots and recyclable plastic containers, where vegetables are grown. She said an urban garden could also use biodegradable wastes as compost and garden soil.
Calatan said the aim is to serve healthy food to the children, as this comes straight from the school garden, which the students themselves, could help take care of.
“Students will not only be eating healthy food, but they will also benefit from it, as there is an assurance that they will not experience hunger,” she added.
She said the DepEd’s goal is also to end hunger among the school children. Hungry school children, she noted, have difficulty keeping up with the lessons.
“In the public schools, our goal is no student should experience hunger, since they study for hours,” she said.
Calatan expressed appreciation to most schools in Baguio City for having their own organic vegetable gardens despite the lack of open space.
She said most Baguio schools have adopted certain urban gardening systems, enabling them to put up their Gulayan sa Paaralan Project.
At the start of his term in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte pointed out the importance of urban gardening in solving hunger by encouraging the public to grow food in their backyards or porches, using even the smallest spaces like with pots.