NEDA Regional Office XII garden in Koronadal City, Philippines.The NEDA Regional Office XII was adjudged 2nd in the recently concluded ‘Search for Best Gulayan sa Opisina Project Phase III’ launched this year by the National Nutrition Council (NNC) XII. It ranked next to the Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Office XII, while the Cotabato Provincial Office of the Department of Trade and Industry ranks third.

2015RNAC_The FarmThe award was received by NEDA XII Assistant Regional Director Noel E. Quiratman, together with Ms. Eden F. Ridao and Ms. Angelina C. Soriano, President and Vice-President, respectively, of the Organization of NEDA Employees (ONE) XII, during the Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony and the Grand Launching of the “Saktong Iodine sa Asin” Quality Seal on November 12, 2015 at The Farm, Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City.

The Gulayan sa Opisina Project of NEDA XII has been consistently in the top two best Gulayan sa Opisina in the region for the past three years. NEDA XII won the first prize in 2013 and 2nd prize in 2014. It is a joint effort of ONE XII, under the leadership of Ms. Ridao, and the NEDA XII Office management.

The search for the Best Gulayan sa Opisina is a contest among government offices in Region XII introduced by NNC XII in 2013. It aims to encourage government workers to plant and produce organically-grown vegetables in their respective office premises utilizing appropriate vegetable production/landscaping technologies, including containerized gardening. It also aims to increase awareness among government employees on the benefits of vegetable consumption to help reduce malnutrition and prevent the onset of major non-communicable diseases.

The Gulayan project is part of NNC’s support to the Gulayan ng Masa Program of the Department of Agriculture which is one of the government’s programs towards reduction of poverty and hunger. The Gulayan ng Masa Program is a food production activity that aims to provide access to affordable and readily available vegetables. It has been promoted and implemented in schools, communities and barangays through the establishment of home, school and community vegetable gardens to help increase food supply and at the same time, promote vegetable consumption among families, school children and community residents.

Aside from the Gulayan sa Opisina contest, NNC XII also holds a separate contest for barangays, the ‘Search for Best Gulayan sa Barangay’. The prizes were also handed to the winners during the Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony. (Eden F. Ridao/DRD, NEDA XII)