Pres. Arroyo rolls out urban backyard food production programs
by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob
Cagayan de Oro City (16 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has enjoined all governors and mayors to set aside funding for the setting up of the Gulayan ng Masa in the urban areas and designate project supervisors for the Integrated Services for Livelihood Advancement (ISLA) for subsistence of the fisherfolk.
Thus, the President signed on January 16, this year, Executive Order No. 776, "Rolling Out the Backyard Food Production Programs in the Urban Areas," for the setting up of urban communal vegetable gardens and backyard fisheries in vacant lots and unused government land.
Both the Gulayan ng Masa and ISLA will be rolled out into a massive government food production program in the urban setting with the active participation of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the local government units (LGU) and the Philippine Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
For such purpose, a steering committee has created composed of the Secretary of Agriculture together with the Directors of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), the Chairpersons of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) and PAGCOR, the Chancellor of the University of the Philippines in Los Baņos (UPLB) and other concerned groups.
While UPLB and the other state universities and colleges will lend their expertise in agriculture and aquaculture to the program, DA will set up provisions for water sources and mobilize breeder sanctuaries for the program with the following activities:
Developing various modules for urban gardening, producing and disseminating information materials, identifying beneficiaries, organizing seminars and site visits, distributing vegetable seedlings and tilapia/hito fingerlings, monitoring local government progress and holding a search for Best Urban Garden/Fisheries. (PIA 10) [top]