AE Team with reports from Missy de Guzman | May 31, 2017
True to its commitment to drive change for a better world, the Aboitiz Group continues to partner with government stakeholders to implement timely initiatives, this time supporting the Pagkain Para Sa Masa (Food for the Masses) program led by the Department of Agriculture (DA). Pagkain Para Sa Masa targets to feed the urban poor, address malnutrition, and train the identified beneficiaries to become vegetable and crop growers to enable a sustainable food supply right in their own communities.
One of the vital components of the program is urban agriculture, specifically the installation of hydroponic facility and training centers. The Aboitiz Group is the first private company to partner with the DA to co-launch the program and install the much-needed hydroponic systems in four identified local government units, namely: Quezon City, Davao City, Cotabato City, and Taguig City. The partnership was made possible through the efforts of AEV-Government Relations Team and the Aboitiz Foundation.
We are happy to be given the opportunity to support our partner government agencies on this noteworthy program, truly allowing us to demonstrate our inspired Aboitiz Group Purpose to drive change for a better world. We are looking forward to seeing more communities become more empowered and sustainable through this urban agriculture initiative.
-DJ Sta. Ana, First Vice President, Government Relations, Aboitiz Equity Ventures
DA Secretary Manny Piñol in his speech delivered by Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan, emphasized the importance of multisectoral cooperation to make this program truly benefit the urban poor. He said that the Pagkain Para Sa Masa program will be implemented in tandem with the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Pagkain Para sa Masa will serve as the first step toward ensuring that the street dwellers, urban poor and the homeless will be identified and later trained for vegetable growing using the Israel greenhouse technology.
– Manny Piñol,Secretary, Department of Agriculture
While street dwellers from different parts of the metro are provided with food, they will have health checks and undergo training for urban farming as well, an opportunity that will develop their skills and productivity.
Quezon City is the one of the first local government units to launch Pagkain Para Sa Masa, which is aligned with the urban farming thrust of the city vice mayor, Joy Belmonte, who graced the opening of the urban farming facility and training center in Brgy. Bahay Toro. She has been running a number of urban gardens around the city and said that her target is to ensure food sustainability while addressing poverty.
We’re slowly trying to make people adapt to the idea of growing their own food to partially fulfill their needs and we are also working with provinces outside Metro Manila for farmer-to-consumer projects to help them get better income and access.
-Joy Belmonte, Vice Mayor, Quezon City
Totoo po na may makakain tayo kung magtitiyaga lang tayo. Sa maliit na espasyo sa bakuran natin, kaya na po natin magtanim ng mga gulay na maaani natin upang makain. Kaya hinihikayat ko kayo na pumunta sa mga libreng aquaponic and mushroom trainings dito sa inyong barangay. Ito ay kasama sa programang Pagkain Para Sa Masa. (With a small space in your backyard, you can grow your own food. I am inviting all of you to learn more how to do this through the free trainings in aquaponic farming because these are all part of the Food for the Masses program).
-Ranibai Dilangalen, Undersecretary for Special Concerns, Department of Agriculture
In our barangay, our priority beneficiaries are those who belong to the poorest in our population. We are also including drug surrenderees within our community. With this 800-square meter urban farm, there are many things that they can do to get better and that’s why I am very thankful for the support of our partners Aboitiz, the DA, and the Office of the City Vice Mayor.
-Dennis Caboboy, Brgy. Chairman, Bahay Toro, Quezon City
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