Piñol seeks P20-M budget to introduce basic gardening in schools
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has ordered Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to include a P20 million allocation in the proposed 2017 budget to support a program to teach school age children basic gardening.
“What exactly would be the future of this agricultural country if the children of today do not even know how to plant vegetables or do not even know the smell of the soil and the scent of a tomato flower,” Piñol said.
The agri chief raised the idea of bringing back basic gardening as a special activity for elementary school children in both private and public schools with Education Secretary Leonor Briones in a cabinet meeting.
Piñol said Briones liked the idea and they agreed that their departments will work together to implement a national school gardening program.
Piñol said he has already ordered Bureau of Plant Industry executive director Vivencio Mamaril to come up with a program design.
The DA is in the process of drafting the memorandum of agreement. The proposal is for the education department to make basic gardening a special school activity with the agriculture department providing the technicians, gardening tools, seeds, organic fertilizers, and irrigation equipment.
The plan is to come up with a search for the best school garden in the school district level, initially. Best school gardens will also be picked at the municipal, provincial, regional and national level, with the winner getting a Presidential Award and prizes in cash and gardening tools.