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Sugbusog program expands to schools
By: Vanessa Almeda | Published Thursday, February 18, 2021
Gov. Gwen Garcia visits one of the nurseries in Bantayan Island today. (Junjie Mendoza)

Public school teachers will soon take part in competing for the best vegetable garden as the Capitol expands its centerpiece food production program to the Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu Province.

After the successful second round of the SugBusog program last year, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia plans to involve school teachers in Cebu Province’s 1,211 public schools in planting vegetables as well as herbal and medicinal plants within their school premises.

Garcia said this new phase of the Capitol’s food production program could help revive the interest and knowledge on the medicinal and curative properties of these plants. 

The governor took note of her visit in Camotes Islands last week where she was impressed of a well-organized garden in a purok in the mountain barangay of Daan Secante in Tudela.

She shared that each plant was mounted with a sign identifying its name and the various curative benefits it offers. According to the purok residents, a teacher helped them fill out this information. 

The Capitol will be providing free vegetable seedlings while teachers will find ways to look for these medicinal plants.

The Provincial Agriculture Office will finalize the mechanics and criteria of the program.

Garcia said the Province intends to give cash and an infrastructure project as incentive for the ingenuity and creativity of the teachers. 

“Maningkamot na ni sila (teachers) to research ha-in na ning mga tanoma,” she said.

Provincial Board member Jose Marie “Tata” Salvador said that in previous town visits, teachers have expressed their interest in joining SugBusog even without an incentive. 

But with this new development, teachers will now take a more active part. 

Salvador joined the governor’s visit to the nurseries in Camotes Islands together with DepEd Cebu Provincial Schools Superintendent Marilyn Andales and fellow Board Member Christopher Baricuatro who chairs the Committee on Education. 

Aside from vegetables, schools are encouraged to plant herbal and medicinal plants in keeping with the Capitol’s health regimen protocols to strengthen people’s immunity against the Covid-19 virus and other illnesses. 

Andales expressed her full support to the Capitol’s plan saying that this is good for the teachers.

“Nindot siya nga idea. At least while doing their tasks, preparing their modules, checking sa activity sheets, naa silay diversion pud, mag-gardening ba early in the morning, before sila mo perform in their different functions as teachers,” she said.

DepEd Cebu Province has 22,000 teachers and close to 2,000 non-teaching personnel. It covers 58 districts, 885 elementary schools, and 326 secondary schools. (Vanessa L. Almeda)