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Fruits Trees in Gulayan sa Paaralan (School Gardens)

The vision is the inclusion of fruits trees in Gulayan sa Paaralan program (GPP) of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines

Photo of Margaret Tadeja
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Bituen Arts, Culture, Events, and Communications Organization, Inc.

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small NGO (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Department of Education (DepEd) Department of Agriculture (DA) Department of Environment & Natural Resources Management (DENR)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

www.bituen.org

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Makati City

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Philippines

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Metro Manila Public Schools with GPP

What country is your selected Place located in?

Philippines

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Metro Manila has been selected as the place for the implementation of this vision due to its strategic role as the largest urban space in the Philippines. The place is important because as a person, it is where I grow up, went to school, and spent most of my formative years.

I am connected to it as the centerpoint of most of my economic and productive activities. It is where goods and services are concentrated and available most of the time.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Metro Manila is a global city that serves as the main artery of the Philippines. It is the center of economy and politics.

As the center of economy, all major products and services are exchanged and provided for in Metro Manila, this is why it is one of the most heavily congested urban centers in the world as indicated by its road traffic.

The variety of food available in Metro Manila, although dominated by US-influenced fastfood, is global: from ethnic foods of the country's regions, to Asian, Mid-eastern, European (French, Italian, British, and Spanish) to lesser-known dishes.

The climate and topography of Metro Manila is tropical, but due to the pollution and concentration of the population, temperatures are growing higher each year with 2019 recording a 36.6 degrees Celsius. It has the dry and wet seasons, with many flash floods during the wet season, or when there are rainy typhoons.

Agriculture, farming and aquaculture are hardly practiced in Metro Manila. Most of its fresh natural food that includes fruits, vegetables, livestock and fish come from neighboring National Capital Region (NCR) provinces such Bulacan, Cavite, Batangas, and Rizal, or as far as Davao or China. Several others are imported as processed food.


The hopes of the people of Metro Manila are to have better lives, improved future, and a higher quality fo living. Instead, they get the opposite as Metro Manila remains one of the the world's lowest cost of living, eating up much from the lower, labor class that provide low-cost services.


The peoples' diet comprise mainly of grocery food (bread, canned and instant noodle foods) or fastfood. The few restaurants that provide real food are considered costly and could only be patronized by the rich.


The  diet of the majority of MM make the population vulnerable to vascular diseases and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes mellitus and cancer. The pollution on the other hand leads to respiratory diseases. MM is not a healthy place to live not only for its accessible or availble food for the population but also for its pollution, lack of green spaces, among others.

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

13000000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Challenges that the Food System Faces

Environment

MM only has 21% green space out of  55,922.22 hectares. It suffers pollution affecting 98% of the population causing about 4,000 deaths per year. Its main river Pasig River is one of the most polluted in the world with 150 tons of domestic waste and 75 tons of industrial waste dumped daily. Around 9 tons of solid waste are disposed daily in MM.


Diets

Diet of Filipinos is predominantly carbohydrates from rice and bread, with low intakes of fruits, vegetables, and un-processed dairy. 42% of adults  are said to be deficient in protein with the top five sources of protein for adults are rice, fish, pork, poultry, and bread. Processed meat and other processed foods are the main daily consumptions of both MM adults and children.


Economics

NCR that includes MM has 37.2% of the gross domestic product of the Philippines in 2013 with the highest per capita GDP of the country at ₱183,747. Employment rate of NCR is at 89.6% as of 2012.  Share of output by industry is: trade and tourism: 31.4%, business/finance: 28.6%, local/non-market: 15.6%, manufacturing: 12.5%, transportation: 4.9%, construction: 4%, utilities: 2.8%, and commodities: 0.3% (Brookings Institution, 2015).

Culture

MM culture is a mix of local and western popular culture that supports basketball games despite importing players, popular media-influenced culture. It is predominantly Christian and abuse-tolerant people.

Technology

MM is on top ten of Asia-Pacific cities that use mobile and internet technologies, it is also one of the top 3 providers for BPO globally. 

Policy

MM is governed with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), an agency created to serve the cities.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Challenges that the Food System Faces


Environment


MM only has 21% green space out of  55,922.22 hectares. It suffers pollution affecting 98% of the population causing about 4,000 deaths per year. Its main river Pasig River is one of the most polluted in the world with 150 tons of domestic waste and 75 tons of industrial waste dumped daily. Around 9 tons of solid waste are disposed daily in MM.



Diets


Diet of Filipinos is predominantly carbohydrates from rice and bread, with low intakes of fruits, vegetables, and un-processed dairy. 42% of adults  are said to be deficient in protein with the top five sources of protein for adults are rice, fish, pork, poultry, and bread. Processed meat and other processed foods are the main daily consumptions of both MM adults and children.



Economics


NCR that includes MM has 37.2% of the gross domestic product of the Philippines in 2013 with the highest per capita GDP of the country at ₱183,747. Employment rate of NCR is at 89.6% as of 2012.  Share of output by industry is: trade and tourism: 31.4%, business/finance: 28.6%, local/non-market: 15.6%, manufacturing: 12.5%, transportation: 4.9%, construction: 4%, utilities: 2.8%, and commodities: 0.3% (Brookings Institution, 2015).


Culture


MM culture is a mix of local and western popular culture that supports basketball games despite importing players, popular media-influenced culture. It is predominantly Christian and abuse-tolerant people.


Technology


MM is on top ten of Asia-Pacific cities that use mobile and internet technologies, it is also one of the top 3 providers for BPO globally.


Policy


MM is governed with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), an agency created to serve the cities.


DepEd was very challenged when it launched GPP. The many constraints include lack of funding, government support, garden spaces, work force, resources such as water, garden tools, and soil supplies, time for cultivation, among others. The DepEd teachers, however, rose up to the challenge. Despite meager salaries, many set aside their time and personal funds for their school gardens. Today, majority of MM schools have school gardens they call the GPP. Greener spaces create healthier minds. We hope that increasing green spaces could motivate and encourage green policy naysayers at the governance levels. GPP is a much-challenged program of the DepEd, yet, schools were able to put up their own despite lack of funds, resources, time, and labor force.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Environment

Provide more compact green spaces in Metro Manila through addition of more trees in already existing school gardens.

Diets

Access to affordable if not free fruits from trees will help ease the health and dietary problems not only of school children but also their families. Fresh fruits produced locally are cheaper but more nutritious.

Economics

Making them accessible and more produce could help improve economy of a healthier MM population. Healthier people are more productive, costs lesser in healthcare, and socially better than their sick counterpart.

Culture

Green spaces provided by shades or greenbelts create more physically active population, refreshed and relaxed workers and students, and healthier communities. The tendency with cooler, greener spaces provided by trees from this project are people that walk, jog, or bike to school, to work, to nearby errands like shop areas. We then create a healthier population.

Technology

Monitoring and dissemination of green projects such as this cultivation of fruit trees in school gardens can be much improved by technology. Technology shall not be an issue but a tool to reach the vision's goals. In addition technology can provide means to process or preserve excess produce of fruits, i.e., drying machine, refrigeration and mobility systems.

Policy

Greener spaces create healthier minds. We hope that increasing green spaces could motivate and encourage green policy naysayers at the governance levels. GPP is a much-challenged program of the DepEd, yet, schools were able to put up their own despite lack of funds, resources, time, labor force.



Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

People consuming fresh fruits regularly are much healthier, relaxed, highly desirable, and more productive. Healthy commoners or regular folks in communities show a more equitable society, where gap of economic status becomes blurred, not glaring. We see better communities, cleaner and safer roads, less crimes, and healthier people everywhere.


Presence of trees are a good indicator of quality of life in any given urban space. It increases property value, provides quality living with fresh and cooler air, cleaner air, water, soil, and many others such as decreased flash flooding.


Fruit trees provide many benefits for users or residents. Fruits, for one, can help improve the diet and health of school populations and their families, influence healthier eating habits, and eventually, create healthier communities that will value not only the fruit produce but also the advantages that mature trees provide in the urban space.


Affordabilitty and accessibility to healthy, fresh fruits is a big boost for low-income families. It will  help them achieve healthier diets and lifestyle,  higher self-esteem with the social consciousness, make them healthier, less prone to sickness or diseases brought about by inaccessbility of healthy food. It serves as an equalifizer in a widening gap between rich and poor. Classes become blurred.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Facebook

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Spam
Photo of Ekaterina Egorova
Team

Hi Margaret Tadeja 

We’ve developed this Pocket Guide to support you through the final days of wrapping up your submission.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o8WGMus6-V8GywWdlNwmCpk7I1fMVzcQ/view

This will give you the most important bullet points to keep in mind to successfully submit your Vision.

Go ahead, review the check-list and final words of advice before the deadline.

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