Press Release
December 30, 2014

Villar bats for 'vegetable gardening'

Senator Cynthia A. Villar vouches for 'vegetable farming,' which is being encouraged by the Department of Health (DOH), to meet the nutritional needs of every Filipino.

She also quoted former Great Britain Prime Minister Winston Churchill who said that "healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have."

She noted that a healthy citizentry can only translate to a progressive national so that nutrition is very crucial to our existence.

Since it is difficult to be sick during these times when the cost of medical treatment is very high, Villar underscored the need to be equipped with proper nutrition to avert sickness.

"And this can be achieved by eating the right kind of food, which includes vegetable. Eating vegetables should be a habit. It should form part of our daily meals," said Villar.

"We all know the substances that vegetables can give our body. They are strong defense against all kinds of illnesses," she added.

But based on the 2008 food consumption survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute or FNRI, fewer Filipinos are eating vegetables in a day. From the 145 grams consumption in a day in 1978, the vegetable consumption went down to 110 grams in 2008.

She acknowledged high prices as one of the main reasons for failure to eat vegetables daily.

"I oftentimes hear that vegetables are more expensive than other foods like pork, beef or chicken. So that being a vegetarian is really expensive. But we don't need to be vegetarians to be healthy. We should just observe a balanced food consumption. We can choose our own diet since what works for one may not work for others," explained Villar.

Aside from having enough supply of vegetables in embarking on vegetable gardening, Villar noted this can also be an opportunity to earn extra money since the produce can be sold.

"I really believe in the idea that there is no need for us to go that far to look for opportunities or solutions to some of our problems and concerns because "we can do it in our own yard," said Villar.

Villar said this proved true to some Las Piñas residents encountering difficulties in looking for employment due to lack of education. Some women, on the otherhand, cannot leave their children behind to help their husband augment the family income.

She extolled the Sagip-ilog program has not only saved the Las Piñas-Zapote River and provided livelihood to Las Piñeros, but also solve some environmental concerns in the city. And she has focused on this program during the past 12 years, starting when she was congresswoman in 2001.

Although her term had ended in Congress, she has continued her livelihood programs as managing director of the Villar Foundation, now Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance).

"We have been successful in saving our river. We have even established livelihood programs which have been benefiting mover than 500 families.

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