Tuguegarao City – Reports show that children of poor families fail to complete their education because of hunger and malnutrition force them to drop out of school or help their parents earn a living.

Regional Director Jesus Taberdo of the Department of Education said because of the findings the government had adopted measures to help promote food security and economic stability among affected families.

Complementing such efforts is the strengthening of the school and community food production program under the Gulayan sa Paaralan project tied to DA’s Programmang Agrikultura para sa Masa.

Taberdo said the Gulayan sa Paaralan program seeks to raise the level of public consciousness of the health and nutritional dimensions, as well as the economic benefits of establishing school and community vegetable gardens.

For the province of Cagayan, the project was started at the Camasi Elementary School in Peñablanca and at the Iguig National High School in Iguig.

The DepEd in coordination with the Dept. of Agriculture (DA), National Nutrition Council (NNC), Dept. of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Local Government Units (LGUs) helped the schools utilize organic gardening technologies to produce selected varieties of vegetables that will address the protein, energy, Vitamin A and iron deficiencies of schools.

Taberdo said the vegetable production from the school gardens will be used for the feeding of the school children while some will be sold to generate income to buy other nutritional needs of the children.

The Gulayan sa Paaralan Program is an effort to make food more accessible to poor families to ensure the nutritional, health and economic success of their children.

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