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Legarda: 2016 Nat’l Budget Promotes Green Schools

December 19, 2015

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, today said that the proposed 2016 national budget includes provisions that promote green school buildings.

Legarda has introduced special provisions under the budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) that require the establishment of vegetable gardens, rainwater collection systems, and materials recovery facilities (MRF) in public schools.

“The DepEd receives the largest slice in the budget pie since education should be our highest priority. But it is not enough that we allocate funds for education, we must also teach our youth how they can put values into action. We must inculcate in them the value of an environment-friendly lifestyle,” said Legarda.

Under the 2016 national budget, “Deped shall require public schools with available lands to establish a vegetable garden through which students shall be taught science and nutrition related to vegetable farming.”

Legarda said this is in support of the DepEd’s ongoing Gulayan sa Paaralan Program, which will not only inculcate in schoolchildren the need to eat vegetables but also teach them how vegetables are cultivated.

Moreover, the DepEd should also require all public schools to install rainwater collection systems to promote the efficient use of water resources and a materials recovery facility in a suitable open space within the school premises to promote environmental awareness and action.

Legarda said that these provisions promote the implementation of decades-old laws in the country such as Republic Act No. 6716, enacted in 1989, which requires the construction of water wells, rainwater collectors, development of springs and rehabilitation of existing water wells in all barangays in the country; and Republic Act No. 9003, enacted in 2001, which mandates the ecological management of solid waste starting with segregation of waste into biodegradable, compostable and reusable waste, non-recyclable materials and special waste.

“If all public schools in our country are able to implement these laws, it will be an effective way of showing our local government units (LGUs) that, indeed, our laws are not only good but also simple to implement if we only take that first crucial step of actually taking action,” Legarda concluded.