By Albert B. Lacanlale
LUBAO, Pampanga—The local government unit here has come up with an ingenious yet simple way to fight malnutrition—backyard gardening.
Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, thru the Municipal Agricultural Office and the Municipal Nutrition Council, launched a massive information campaign about the benefits of backyard gardening in public schools and villages within the town.
Seedlings and seeds of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables were distributed to residents of 44 barangays, including the resettlement site of Wenceslao, and the 42 public schools throughout the municipality by means of the “Oh My Gulay!” and “Gulayan sa Paaralan” programs.
Under the “Gulayan sa Paaralan” program, according to Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Rita Rose Magsino, seedlings or seeds of sili, eggplant, pechay, okra, papaya, malunggay and the like were distributed.
“Gulayan sa Paaralan” has been an ongoing project for four years now while the “Oh My Gulay” was launched this year to include indigent families in the “green revolution” where residents are encouraged to grow vegetables and fruits in their backyards to provide nutritious food for their families.
Some 200 indigent families with underweight children also benefitted from the “Oh My Gulay” program where vegetable seedling trays were given out to the recipients in ceremonies held at the Municipal Gymnasium on Friday.
Instead of just conducting supplementary feeding to undernourished children, the municipal government thought of teaching the residents to grow their own food to ensure a cheaper and more nutritious way of serving food for their family.
During the mayor’s regular weekly barangay visits, malunggay and papaya seedlings are planted to set an example to residents.
“Instead of giving them fish, we teach our constituents how to fish, so to speak. Gulay nga lang ang pinag-uusapan dito,” Mayor Cayabyab said.