MANILA, Philippines -- Malunggay polvoron, anyone? How about pan de sal?
Public schoolchildren with a sweet tooth will now have a healthy option for dessert, noted Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus.
But there's more good news, according to Lapus.
The DepEd has come up with other malunggay (horseradish) recipes to supplement the usual rice, noodles and vitamins-rich pan de sal in the agency's P3.8-billion school feeding program, said Lapus.
Shortly before he left last weekend for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) conference in Paris, Lapus also announced DepEd was pushing for the massive planting of malunggay trees at all public elementary and high schools nationwide.
The Bureau of Plant Industry has strongly recommended the planting of at least 25 to 50 malunggay trees at every public school to sustain the DepEd's "Gulayan sa Paaralan" program.
"The department is tapping into indigenous resources in an effort to overcome nutritional deficiency," said Lapus.
He claimed "planting malunggay trees will translate to huge savings not only for the DepEd but also for the families of schoolchildren as well."
"This initiative will ultimately teach our children the usefulness of this miracle vegetable whose benefits can outdo those of commercialized vitamins and medicines," Lapus added.
The DepEd has cited Tomasa Camu and Marissa Servito, teacher and public health nurse, respectively, at the Tabaco National High School in Tabaco City, Albay, for "coming up with polvoron mixed with malunggay powder that can possibly help eradicate various diseases among public schoolchildren."
The DepEd project "Malunggay as Agent for Improving Students' Wellness" was the brainchild of Camu and Servito.
A study by DepEd personnel showed malunggay polvoron had reduced anemia and Vitamin C deficiency among 250 students who took part in a "sample investigation."
Other ailments such as the common cold,...