BAGUIO CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera is urging barangays in the region to establish community gardens in support of the current administration’s major thrust to address hunger and ensure food security.
It can be recalled that the Department issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2023-001 entitled “Implementation of the Halina’t Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay (HAPAG) sa Barangay Project” to serve as a strategy to diversify food sources and contribute to ensuring food security.
“We are urging our barangays to identify areas where they can establish their respective community gardens. It should have at least 20 square meters of land area or its equivalent in several patches of land,” said Araceli San Jose, Regional Director of DILG CAR today.
Adding, “In establishing the community garden, the barangay shall identify which vegetable plants, herbal plants, and root crops they wish to grow. Also, barangays with suitable spaces are hereby encouraged to plant bamboos”.
Meanwhile, barangays that do not have vacant areas shall implement alternative gardening such as container, vertical, square foot gardening, hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics.
“We are also encouraging our barangays to coordinate and request from their respective city or municipal governments or with private individuals who own certain vacant lots that can be used to establish the barangay community garden,” she said.
Further, “the barangays shall also encourage their residents to set up their family vegetable garden and/or plant fruit-bearing trees in available open spaces”.
Responsibilities of LGUs
Likewise, the LGUs should ensure the formulation, or if existing, revision/updating of the local nutrition plan of action, to include and support the establishment and maintenance of community gardens which includes both barangay and household gardens.
“Our LGUs should also include in their respective Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan and Comprehensive Development Plan as well as in their Annual Investment Plans applicable programs and activities to promote nutrition such as establishment and maintenance of barangay community gardens to ensure adequate funding for nutritional impact,” RD San Jose said.
She underscored the re-organization and strengthening of the Local Nutrition Committees at Provincial, City and Municipal levels with the LCEs as chairperson through the enactment of a local ordinance.
“There is also a need to designate a Nutrition Action officer with the corresponding staff support to coordinate nutrition action and implement one or more components of the local nutrition action plan as may be needed,” she said.
Adding, “We are encouraging our LGUs to provide agricultural support services and facilities to barangays such as but not limited to vegetable seed farms, fruit tree and other kinds of seedling nurseries; improvement and development of local distribution channels, preferable through cooperative; inter barangay irrigation system; prevention and control of plant pests and diseases, and assistance in the organizations of cooperatives”. By PMTG/DILG-CAR