Created on Monday, 06 March 2023 Published Date
TACLOBAN CITY – Amidst inclement weather conditions, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 8 (DA RFO 8) and the Department of Interior and Local Government Regional Office 8 ( DILG RO 8 ), launched the marriage of three pivotal projects, Halina’t Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay (HAPAG) sa Barangay Project, Kadiwa ay Yaman (KAY), and Plants for Bountiful Barangays Movement (PBBM), earlier today, March 1, 2023 atthe GMA Habitat Village, Brgy. Sto. Niño, Tacloban City.
The said activity was part of the simulcast nationwide launching of the said projects headed by the DILG, DA-BPI, and the DA with its banner programs, High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) and the National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP).
HAPAG is a project under the DILG which aims to address the problem of hunger and food insecurity in the Philippines through the participation of barangays, in cognizant of their role as essential partners of the national government in addressing hunger at the grassroots level. The HAPAG seeks to strengthen the capacities of barangay units toward sustainable agriculture and food-production initiatives through the establishment of barangay community gardens.
Meanwhile, the KADIWA and PBBM are both projects of the Department of Agriculture to ensure food security in the basic sectors of the community. The KADIWA was an initiative that greatly contributed in the availability of quality yet affordable foods in the countryside during the pandemic. Through its accessibility and appeal to the masses, the DA continued the said program as part of its mitigating measures to address the rising food prices in the country.
On the other hand, the PBBM, dubbed as Green Revolution 2.0, was patterned from a project of the DA under then President Marcos, Sr. which aims to increase local production of fruits and vegetables by turning urban and rural areas into patches of green, edible landscapes. Currently, the project is headed by DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry.
Empowerment of Barangays
The barangays are the basic administrative division of the country where basic community interactions between households and individuals are the most active. This translate to the great transformative power of barangays in nation building, particularly in food security.
The HAPAG KAY PBBM follows the premise that if food concerns are addressed in the grassroots level, hunger in the country is expected to go down or be eradicated. When households and communities are encouraged to produce fresh, healthy, and affordable basic goods, there is increased access to food among households, particularly the most marginalized.
Women Empowerment
The launching of the HAPAG KAY PBBM coincided with the start of the nationwide observance of the National Women’s Month every month of March. This year’s theme revolves around WE (Women Empowerment) for Gender Equality and Inclusive Society.
The beneficiaries of this launching is the G-HAB Vegetable Growers’ Association, an organization of women composed of mothers and senior citizens, which was established during the onset of the pandemic to promote community food production. From feeding their respective households, the women of G-HAB grew to feed not just their families but the whole community.
Through their continuous farming activities, these women are now able to market their produce and earn income from their gardening, a feat which they are proud of as they are not only able to secure their daily food sustenance, but also provide for the other needs of their households.
A Model for Convergence, Collaboration, and Cooperation
G-HAB Vegetable Growers’ Association has been Tacloban City’s model for productive and effective collaboration. It is noted that this association was a product of collaboration among key stakeholders, the national government through the DA, the local government through Tacloban City Agriculture Office, and the private sector through the iKonek Klessia.
Tacloban City often refers to G-HAB as their model community for replication within other communities in the city. The women of G-HAB are testaments to the fact that if key stakeholders play their part faithfully, transformation for the better happens and the ripples are expected to traverse between communities.
Similarly, the marriage of projects between the DA and the DILG seeks to create a model initiative for a strengthened collaboration and convergence among government agencies. The HAPAG KAY PBBM seeks to fan the flames of the bayanihan spirit among agencies, households, and stakeholders to address the rising food prices and food insecurity. Through having readily-available foods for access within the community, hunger is addressed while promoting stronger ties among households and individuals.###
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