Gulayan sa barangay proposed-A A +A
By Nerie Bayan
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
PROPOSED Ordinance entitled “Institutionalizing the “Gulayan sa Barangay” Project and Appropriating Funds Thereof was approved on second reading for posting during the January 21, 2013 regular Sangguniang Panlungsod session. The proposed ordinance is authored by Hon. Joel Alangsab, Liga President and Chairman of the Committee on Barangay Affairs.
According to the World Health Organization, adequate consumption of fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer. Low fruit and vegetable intake is among the top 10 risk factors contributing to attributable mortality, according to evidence presented in the 2003 World Health Report. The results of the National Nutrition Survey show that this situating is also true in the Philippines because even in the Cordillera Region where Baguio City belong, and the major source of vegetables, has a lower per capita consumption of vegetables than the recommended level.
The main objectives of the ‘gulayan sa barangay’ project is to promote organic vegetable farming among barangay residents, to ensure the production of vegetables that are healthier than the usual vegetables being sold in the market; to increase awareness to the constituents/residents through their involvement in producing their own crops and vegetables within their respective gardens and/or available areas.
The Baguio City Nutrition Committee under the Nutrition Services Division of the Health Services Office shall provide for the guidelines for the proper implementation of the said ordinance should it be approved on third and final reading. Furthermore, this program shall also be incorporated as one of the criteria for the annual search for the Best Implementing Barangay in Nutrition Program, which is an annual search for the barangays pertaining to the implementation of nutrition program of the national and the local government.
Apart from the annual search, the Baguio City Nutrition Committee under the Nutrition Services Division of the Health Services Office has a year-round plan of action and line-up of activities with the barangays with the effort to combat malnutrition. Included in the committee’s projects are trainings for women’s groups, baking classes, and mother’s classes for food handling and food preparation, as well as production of food with nutrients such as veggie noodles, baked muffins with vegetables as main ingredients, and other food products.
Hon. Joel Alangsab, also a member of the Baguio City Nutrition Committee expressed, “Health is wealth. The government can only do so much in combating malnutrition, but we ourselves must also play our part. This proposal is intended to widen awareness and strengthen the program of vegetable gardens hoping that more constituents would engage in simple gardening. Not only will this promote a healthy way of living but also to assist in the production of vegetables within their homes.”
There are some barangays who are already undertaking some programs, while some utilize the vacant areas within their barangays, some utilize pots and other innovations for their vegetable gardens. The ordinance, one approved, will institutionalize the program, hence the program will be adopted by all of the barangays, at the same time, funding from the local government can be appropriated. The needed support from the Department of Agriculture will likewise be achieved.
The legislative proposal is yet to pass the third and final reading duly approved by the sangguniang panlungsod in session before it becomes an ordinance.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 24, 2013.