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Nutritious food just a walk away from your doorsteps

DILG’s HAPAG sa Kainan initiative complements PBBMs food sufficiency program

Barangay Juan M. Alberto (JMA) Poniton in Virac, Catanduanes was chosen as model barangay during the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)’s regional launch of "Halina't Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay (HAPAG) sa Barangay Project held here recently.

DILG Catanduanes Provincial Director Uldarico Razal said that they have partnered with the Provincial Agricultural and Services Office (PASO) to ensure that they can reach all their constituents and enjoin them to engage in vegetable cultivation. The collaborative effort, he said will address the community’s need for food production and sustainability.

Razal also underscored that this undertaking will complement President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s program on food sufficiency as part of the government’s over-all development agenda.

“The main objective of this initiative is to deal with the issue of hunger and guarantee food security throughout the nation. The program also aims to encourage every barangay to have sustainable agriculture” Razal said.

The HAPAG project also endeavors to end the pressing issue of hunger and get more advocates who will promote the benefits of fresh and healthy foods and a transition from buying commodities at the market to a fresh pick from their own backyards.

Out of 315 barangays in Catanduanes, 184 are already engaged in backyard or community gardening.

DILG Catanduanes showcases model barangay

Provincial Agriculturist Ace William R. Tria commended Barangay JMA Poniton for its exemplary practices and for inspiring other barangays to also draw their attention to the benefits of sustainable agriculture.  He added that out of eleven towns, the province has an existing nine (9) municipal nurseries which will aid the implementation of the project.

In his speech, he emphasized that aside from ensuring sustainable food production, HAPAG also aims to give attention to the nutritional status of the community to address malnutrition. He said that unlike their previous projects, they are now distributing seedlings instead of seeds.

Effective Teamwork and government support

Punong Barangay Jocelyn Beo expressed her appreciation to the DILG and PLGU Catanduanes following the selection of JMA Ponito as Model barangay. She said that getting the award entailed more than participation in the training but most importantly, teamwork and a resolute support from the government.

She narrated that they have been actively maintaining the gulayan sa barangay project as they wanted to create a sustainable source of fresh and organic fruits and vegetables.

TEAMWORK || Barangay residents believe that to have things done and get optimum result, cooperation is a must. (Photo credits: Catanduanes Provincial Agriculturist Office)

“With all the support that is being given by the government, the success of the program will now depend on the efforts of every member of the community,” Beo stated.

JMA Poniton Barangay Kagawad Joan Beo presented their best practices in the implementation of the HAPAG project. She disclosed that they underwent training on vegetable production conducted by the Provincial Agricultural Services Office in partnership with Municipal Agricultural Office.

After the training, the community started the establishment of “Gulayan” per household. A regular meeting is also being conducted to address issues and concerns being encountered by the barangay constituents.

Kag. Beo also said that they are also strictly observing proper solid waste management where every household is practicing waste segregation. Household wastes are being collected every Tuesday.

“We strictly implemented proper waste segregation. Plastic bottles, used rubbers, sacks, clothes are being reused for the gulayan project. Other wastes should be properly segregated before they can be disposed,” Beo added.

She said that with the community garden project, each household is provided, not just with a source of fresh fruit and vegetable but an added source of income.

The launch took place on Friday, June 23, at the Provincial Showcase Barangay Community Garden located in JMA Poniton, Virac, Catanduanes. The event also marked the simultaneous regional launch of the project.

A pledge of commitment for the sustainability of the program was signed by the participants. (With reports from PIA Catanduanes, ICM Edna Bagadiong / LSMacatangay-PIA5) 

About the Author

Ana-liza Macatangay

Assistant Regional Head

Region 5

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