By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Facing several challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sen.
Cynthia A. Villar encourages the public to be more creative and
productive in spending their time.
With the restrictions being imposed by the government to thwart the
spread of coronavirus, no face-to face were allowed in general.
As “Brigada Eskwela,” starts this year, the Department of Education
(DepEd) reminds school heads to implement Gulayan sa Tahanan or Urban
Vegetable Gardening at Home as part of Brigada Eskwela and
School-Family-Community partnerships to promote sustainable food
supply at homes, as well as on communicating to stakeholders on how
they can support the school emergency and contingency to ensure
resiliency, in addition to the usual activities.
With this, Villar found a new way of contributing to this program.The
senator has intensified her advocacy of distributing seedlings of
various vegetables seeds to schools all over the country.
“This is my humble way of joining the Brigada Eskwela– giving them
seeds and organic fertilizers from my composting and vermicomposting
facilities which they can plant in the school compounds,” said Villar,
chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food.
Villar has also filed various bills in the Senate to bring back
school-based vegetable gardening or the “Gulayan sa Paaralan.”
She filed Senate Bill No. 147 or the Instructional Gardens Act, which
mandates the establishment of instructional gardens in all elementary
and secondary schools, public or private, making it a requirement for
the creation and issuance of permits for schools.
The bill aims to institutionalize the “Gulayan sa Paaralan” program to
promote health awareness, good nutrition and help curb malnutrition.
Aside from providing a green and healthy environment, Villar said
these vegetable plants can give them nutritious foods.
“After several weeks, they can harvest vegetables which they grew from
the school’s surroundings or backyards,” she said.
As a proponent of vegetable gardening or backyard farming, the senator
is happy that Filipinos now have a better appreciation and increased
interest in growing their own food during the ongoing community
According to Villar, everybody needs to be productive while following
the government’s “stay at home” policy to avoid getting infected with
This is the reason why she has been giving away seedlings and organic
fertilizers to schools and local government units, farmers and
farmers’ cooperatives and individual households.
“By growing your own food, you can be assured of having nutritious
foods on the table while contributing to the country’s food
sufficiency and sustainability,” explained the lady senator.
She also cited the need to boost our health to fight Covid-19. (ai/mtvn)