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DSWD 7, DOST 7, to teach poor to grow no-soil gardens

DSWD 7, DOST 7, to teach poor to grow no-soil gardens

CEBU CITY, Jan. 6 (PNA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 7 for a project that will help beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program learn a gardening method called hydroponics.

This requires minimal space, minimal or no use of soil, and emphasizes the productive reuse of urban wastes such as styropor and plastic containers.

The DSWD and DOST chose Barangay Sawang Calero in Cebu City as the pilot area for the project.

”Sawang Calero was chosen as the pilot area because it is situated in one of the highly urbanized depressed areas of Cebu City and it was the beneficiaries themselves who expressed their need to learn alternative vegetable gardening as their response to the threat of malnutrition,” said DSWD 7 Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre.

”The thrust of DSWD is to alleviate poverty, which is in line with the mandate of DOST,” said DOST 7 assistant Director for Technical Operations Ed Paradela.

Paradela and Macapobre recently signed a memorandum of agreement.

Under the agreement, DOST 7 will provide technical assistance to DSWD clients for sustainable livelihood projects, one of which is the hydroponics gardening.

Through urban gardening, the DSWD and DOST hope to curb food shortage and enhance urban environmental management.

”This move also supports the beneficiaries’ greening and cleaning program because it turns derelict open spaces into green zones,” the DSWD said in a press statement.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the National Government’s flagship program on poverty reduction, gives cash grants to identified poor families.

Under the program, a family receives P500 per month for their health expenses and P300 per month per child (maximum of three children) for their education.

To receive the cash grants, beneficiaries should comply with certain conditions such as pre and post-natal care for pregnant women, immunization and weighing of children, and 85 percent attendance of children in school.

As of July 2011, the program served 136,608 households in the region. Of these, 28,004 households are from Bohol, 52,934 are from Cebu, 53,766 are from Negros oriental and 1,899 households are from Siquijor. (PNA)

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