Legarda Urges Creation of Community Vegetable Gardens to Address Hunger, Malnutrition

August 19, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda today said that creating vegetable gardens in communities is one effective way to address hunger and malnutrition especially in the poorest barangays in the country.


In a briefing with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that the agency’s family development seminars can include lectures on eco-friendly practices such as the creation of vegetable gardens in homes, schools and barangays.


“I encourage the DSWD to include environmental consciousness and care for nature in their monthly family development seminars. We can teach families how to create vegetable gardens in every home. For those without available land, we can promote vertical gardens using recycled bottles, plastic containers and cans to plant herbs and vegetables,” the Senator explained.


“To effectively reduce hunger, malnutrition and poverty, we have to provide our citizens the kind of support that will have long-term effects. In boosting food self-sufficiency, we improve people’s lives by ensuring that they are able to fend for their basic needs without having to regularly depend on government assistance,” she added.


In line with this, Legarda has also filed a bill that will mandate the establishment of vegetable gardens in all primary and secondary schools in the country.


Under Senate Bill No. 406, schools will devote a portion of their school lots for the cultivation of vegetables and other nutrient rich plants as identified by the Department of Health (DOH).


Schools that do not have available land will use other possible gardening methods with the assistance of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).


Legarda said that vegetable gardens in schools can be the source of food for feeding programs.


“Vegetables harvested from these gardens may be utilized to supplement feeding programs in institutions in their respective communities. Feeding programs are also power tools in alleviating short-term hunger and enhancing the learning capacity of children,” Legarda said.


The bill also encourages the participation of parents and other members of the community in the conduct of educational programs related to nutrition education, basic pest management, food preservation techniques, composting and environmental conservation, among others.