P’que Proj. F.R.E.S.H. gains more ground

 Following its consistent gains and successes, Project F.R.E.S.H. (Future Resilience and Stronger Households in the Philippines) in Parañaque is set for an expansion.
     From an original number of 2 barangays and 4 public elementary schools which initially served as model areas, the urban gardening component is slated to “scale-up” or expand to 7 more barangays and an equal number of public schools.
     To join in are Barangays Sto. Niño, Don Bosco, San Martin de Porres, Moonwalk, San Isidro, San Antonio and Sun Valley. Meanwhile, urban gardening will be introduced in more “sitios” in Project F.R.E.S.H. pioneer barangays B.F. Homes and San Dionisio.
     In the school level, the original “School Food Gardening Program” beneficiary schools, namely PES-Central; PES II; San Dionisio Elem. Sch; and Sampaloc Site II will soon see other public schools in the city participating in the project.  Each is expected to continue growing “organic vegetables” (no chemical fertilizer or pesticide used); replicate Parañaque Elem. Sch. Central’s “Mushroom House”; and diversify from the traditional crops to specialty and high value vegetables like lettuce for salads.  
    This was disclosed by Save the Children F.R.E.S.H. Philippines Program Manager Norma Chan-Pongan during the recent Project Annual Review, Year 3 Planning and Team Building at the Hotel Stotsenberg , Clark Special Economic Zone, Pampanga.
     The decision was based on the recommendation of the (P’que) LGU Project Management Team which is composed of City Health Officer Dr. Olga Virtusio; P’que Livelihood Resource Management Office Head Doris Marquez; Parañaque DILG Director Gloria Aguhar; Agriculture Officer Fe Ferolino; Planning Officer Tess Quinto; Solid Waste & Environmental Sanitation Office Chief/CENRO Willie de Ocampo; Parañaque DSWD Head Dean Calleja; City Nutritionist Abelyn Bugayong; and Public Information Officer Lloyd Palconan.  
     An inception of Kraft Foods Philippines and Save the Children and supported by the Parañaque City Government, Dept. of Education Parañaque Division of City Schools, barangays and citizens, the project aims to accelerate food production; mitigate hunger; present more livelihood opportunities; promote nutrition in schools and communities; afford means to enable children to stay in school (reduce drop-out rate); open new ways of learning for students and impart new skills for other household members; provide ways for children to overcome the strong dislike for vegetable menus; reduce the volume of garbage thru waste segregation, recycling and composting; and prove the point that vegetable gardening can be done in urban settings using plant pots, discarded bottled water and soft drink containers, other receptacles and planting mediums.
     “The Parañaque City Government thanks Kraft Foods Philippines and Save the Children for choosing Parañaque as a Project F.R.E.S.H. site. It also appreciates the cooperation given by host barangays; the support by DepEd Parañaque Schools Division; the time, effort and resources put in by principals, teachers and pupils in the project; the dedication of our health center physicians, city nutritionist, barangay nutrition scholars, barangay health workers and community participants; and the devotion in the program of the LGU project management team members.  Convinced of the nobility of purpose, Parañaque will support Project F.R.E.S.H. all the way!”, Mayor Jun Bernabe said.

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