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Securing food sufficiency in Cordillera amidst COVID-19 pandemic

BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Agriculture (DA) – Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is encouraging more Filipinos to participate and support the Plant, Plant, Plant Program initiated by Secretary William D. Dar.

During the launching of the program in March, Dar emphasized that the program will be the centerpiece initiative to ensure sustained food production, availability, accessibility, and affordability amidst the threats of COVID-19 especially in those areas affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“We are looking at all the areas we can cover to produce food from all levels in society. Thus, we are challenging big businesses, seed and fertilizer companies, state universities and colleges (SUCs), and professional organizations in agriculture to adopt a city or town and invest in vegetable gardening, commercial crop production, and raising small ruminants and native chicken nationwide,” Dar said.

On April 17, 2020, a Consultation and Planning Workshop was conducted and facilitated by the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) of DA-CAR.

Present during the activity were Cameron P. Odsey, the OIC-Regional Executive Director of DA-CAR; Engr. Danilo P. Daguio, the Regional Technical Director for Operations; and Jennilyn M. Dawayan, the Regional Technical Director for Research.

Dr. Myer G. Mula, the SAAD National Program Director, also attended the workshop.

Other participants present are the regional offices of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Agricultural Program Coordinating Offices (APCOs) of Benguet and Mountain Province, Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Provincial Veterinary Office (Benguet) and Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAg) of Benguet.

The activity was supervised to advocate DA’s Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) COVID-19 or the Plant, Plant, Plant Program; to present the DA-CAR’s Refocused FY 2020 Programs, Projects and Activities (PPAs); to gather additional inputs for the crafting of a holistic Regional Food Sufficiency Plan; and to discuss gaps, issues, and challenges in the delivery of goods and services while the ECQ remains enforced.

SAAD Program was refocused to support the implementation of the Bayanihan Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

The reprioritization of proposed SAAD projects for the year was based on the Memorandum from the Secretary dated April 6, 2020, containing the FY 2020 SAAD Guideline for the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) within 9 months aimed to ensure food security and food sufficiency in the region amidst the pandemic.

Meanwhile, SAAD CAR Focal Person Mr. Landes B. Teofilo presented the program’s plans for 2020. For the Province of Kalinga, projects for 2020 on agricultural machinery were realigned to assorted vegetables and poultry projects. For Mountain Province, the small agricultural infrastructure was refocused to vegetable production and poultry production.

Furthermore, Dr. Mula reiterated about the 3, 6, 9 months’ prioritization scheme, wherein PPAs from April – December 2020 using the realigned budget should be planned carefully, considering its feasibility on the months it was planned. He also added that all re-aligned PPAs should have a guideline.

“We need to focus and realign activities that have an immediate impact,” Dr. Mula said. ###


Writer: Evangeline Yambot, RPMSO CAR Information Officer

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Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Online ISSN: 2718-9791
Published by the SAAD National Program Management Office Editorial Board

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