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The Department of Labor and Employment-Batangas Provincial Office (DOLE BPO) employees continue to advocate for healthier food choices through the first harvest of its very own vegetable garden, September 13.

DOLE BPO Director Predelma M. Tan led the harvesting of the crops such as pechay and okra at the urban garden-like setup at the back portion of the office.

DOLE- Batangas employees with Provincial Director Predelma M. Tan in the harvest of BPO GULAYAN (Photo by Leomar De Torres/ DOLE-BPO)

Aside from starting a greener and healthier food, DOLE BPO also advocated a more environment-friendly garden through the use of recycled materials such as used plastic bottles and food containers.

Meanwhile, employees expressed their appreciation of gardening as beneficial to both their physical and mental well-being. For them, seeing the green environment just at the back of the office can relieve stress and lift their mood.

Mr. Eric Mortel picking the ready-to-harvest okra and pechay. (Photo by Leomar De Torres/DOLE-BPO)

Since pechay is the sole crop grown in the garden that can be harvested in as little as 30 to 40 days after planting, it comes as no surprise that it was picked first in the green and leafy BPO Gulayan.

“Wala pang isang buwan nang simulan ang ating gulayan, nakapag tanim na din tayo dyan ng iba pang mga gulay at prutas, meron tayong upo, pipino, ampalaya at namumunga na din ang ating passion fruit”. Mr. Mortel remarked.

The diligent work of one of the office's job order employees, Mr. Eric Mortel, also known as "Kuya Eric," at the office enabled continual monitoring of the planted crops.

“Dahil wala tayong pesticide palagian ang pagbisita ko sa mga halaman, binabantayan ko din ito dahil baka maitlugan ng paro-paro ang mga dahon, alaga ko din ito ng dilig umaga at hapon” he shared.

DOLE- Batangas employees with Provincial Director Predelma Tan flexing the first harvest of BPO GULAYAN. (Photo by Leomar De Torres/ DOLE-BPO)

DOLE BPO expects that the harvest will increase in the coming days with a bountiful harvest of various fruits and vegetables.

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