DAVAO ORIENTAL – In the effort to raise awareness on food self-sufficiency and sustainable food production through backyard gardening, the Provincial Agriculture’s Office (PAGRO) has recognized the best implementers of the Gulayan sa Paaralan Program for School Year 2019-2020 and the Home Quarantine Backyard Gardening Challenge in the province.
The awarding ceremony was held at the Provincial Capitol Covered Court on August 11 where the provincial government conferred awards and cash prizes to the winners.
The Asuncion Rondina Perez Memorial School of the City of Mati Schools Division bagged the top prize in the Field Garden Category while Tuburan Village Elementary School in the municipality of San Isidro got first place in the Container Garden Category. Both elementary schools get a cash prize of P8,000 each.
For the high school level, the field garden in Donguila Pacres National High School in the municipality of Banaybanay and the container garden in Sigaboy Agricultural Vocational High School in the municipality of Governor Generoso got the top prize in their respective category. The two schools also took home P8,000 each.
Aside from the prizes, all winning schools received one unit of knapsack sprayer, two pieces of garden hoe with handle, two pieces grass hook, two pieces water sprinkler, and five pieces plastic pails each.
The provincial government also gave 60 boxes of nursery kits, 60 units of wheelbarrows, 60 pieces of garden hoe with handle, 60 pieces of shovels, 240 pieces of plastic crates, 120 pieces of plastic sprinklers, and 120 pieces of grass hooks to 60 identified schools under the city and provincial schools divisions who are recipients of Gulayan sa Paaralan Program for the school year 2020-2021.
Dr. Maria Genevieve Francisquete, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent of the City of Mati Division thanked the provincial government for recognizing the importance of student’s participation in agriculture specifically in vegetable gardening which helps address the problem in malnutrition. “The program teaches our students to be self-reliant and self-sufficient when it comes to providing nutritional food,” said Dr. Francisquete.
Mr. Ernesto Cabanes of the Davao Oriental Schools Division, who represented Schools Superintendent Mr. Reynaldo B. Mellorida, lauded the initiative of the provincial government for recognizing the best practices of the different schools.
“Gulayan sa Paaralan Program improves vegetable production and consumption by teaching the learners the methods of sustainable production of food which can be applied to their homes and essential for food security,” he said, adding that the program also helps the school-based feeding program to supply fresh vegetables and improve students’ nutrition.
“We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang for his support to Department of Education in ensuring that every child is enjoying his basic right to education and that no one is left behind,” said Mr. Cabanes.
On the other hand, to encourage the community’s participation in ensuring food security in this time of the pandemic, the PAGRO also gave recognition to the participants and winners of the recently concluded Home Quarantine Backyard Gardening Challenge.
For the Field Category, Ms. Florencia Pagandahan of the municipality of Caraga won first place and took home a cash prize of P 8,000. Getting the second place is Mr. Loreto Alonzo Sr. of the municipality of Banaybanay who took home P5,000. Ms. Rosa Glenda Hazel of the municipality of Caraga got third place with P3,500, Mr. Marvin Divinagracia of the municipality of Banaybanay got the fourth place with P2,500, and Ms. Letecia Gabo of the municipality of Governor Generoso at fifth place with P1,500 cash prize.
Eight consolation prizes worth Php 1,000 each and three special awards worth P1,000 each were also given to entries with more 1,000 reactions in social media platform Facebook.
Meanwhile, for the Container Category, the winners are: Ms. Elaisa Cardinas of the municipality of Banaybanay who won first place and a cash prize of P8,000.
At second place is Ms. Vilma Risari of Banaybanay with P5,000 prize, Mr. Ruel Solano of the municipality of Lupon got third place and won a cash of P3,500, Ms. Ellen Pomento of the City of Mati at fourth place with P2,500, and Mr. Emeliano Faborada of the municipality of Governor Generoso at fifth place with P1,500. Three consolation prizes are also given to other participants worth P 1,000 each.
Provincial Agriculturist and Provincial Cooperative Officer Mr. Rotchie Ravelo congratulated all the winners and encouraged all the participants to engage further in vegetable gardening.
“I hope that the fire and passion within you in producing and growing your own food will not die out,” said Mr. Ravelo, adding that ensuring food security for the people is a shared responsibility of the government and its constituents.
Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang through Vice Governor Niño Sotero L. Uy Jr. salutes all the GGP school implementers and participants of Home Quarantine Backyard Gardening Challenge for helping the provincial government ensure food security especially in this time of pandemic crisis.
“Ensuring our safety in this pandemic is currently the top priority of our government today and it includes food security,” conveys Vice Governor Uy adding that starting to learn vegetable garden at school and at home contributes to the provincial agenda of nutritional and enough food for every family in the province.
Also present in the awarding ceremony is Ms. Mary Ann Constantino, the chief of Field Operations Division of the Department of Agriculture XI who represented the Regional Executive Director Engr. Ricardo M. Oñate Jr. By Van Jorain Rufin