DA sets aside P20 M for school gardening program
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - July 31, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is allotting P20 million to create a national school gardening program in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).

During one of the Cabinet meetings, Agriculture chief Emmanuel Piñol presented to Education Secretary Leonor Briones the idea of bringing back basic gardening as a special activity for elementary school children in both public and private schools nationwide.

“She liked the idea and so we agreed that DA and DepEd would work together to implement a national school gardening program,” he said.

The DA-Bureau of Plant Industry has started the draft of the program design while regional directors have been instructed to coordinate with their counterparts in the DepEd.

Based on the initial draft of the memorandum of agreement, DepEd will make basic gardening as a special school activity allowing teachers and students to spend time working in their gardens in the back of their school.

On the other hand, DA will provide technicians, gardening tools, seeds, organic fertilizers and irrigation equipment.

“Most Filipino children do not even know how to plant vegetables or even just basic gardening. For many, the closest they get to farming is by playing Farmville in the computer,” Piñol said.

The funding for the program will be included in the proposed 2017 budget of the department.

“The amount set aside for this advocacy may look huge but I believe it is worth it,” he added.

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