Cagayan de Oro City, March 28 – The agriculture department (DA) encourages the Filipinos in the government’s bid of ensuring every household adequate, accessible and affordable food through the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra sa COVID-19 (ALPAS COVID-19).

Complementing the department’s existing regular programs, DA under the helm of Secretary William D. Dar has already sought an additional Php31 billion fund to fulfill its mandate of ensuring a food secure Philippines amid the current health crisis.

The requested budget will be used to provide immediate assistance in scaling-up activities relative to food productivity and availability, food accessibility and mobility, and food price stability.

“In doing so, it will avert food shortage, supply disruptions, and unstable prices as the COVID-19 pandemic challenges even more our farm and fishery production, including the movement of agricultural commodities and products from production to market areas,” said DA-RFO 10 OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado, reiterating the agriculture secretary’s statement.

While the supplemental budget is underway, DA-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) through its High Value Crops Development Program intensified the distribution of vegetable seeds to the local governments in Region 10.

On behalf of DA-RFO 10 exec Carlene C. Collado, Regional Technical Director Carlota S. Madriaga handed over four boxes of vegetable seeds to the City Agriculture’s Office of CdeO.

Costing more than a hundred thousand, the boxes of vegetable seeds come in different variants (5-in-1 Pinakbet, 4-in-1 Chopsuey, 4-in-1 Salad Green and 5-in-1 Sinigang).

“While most of us are staying in our homes, we could be a lot more productive by planting vegetables in our own backyards or gardens,” Madriaga said, on the provision of seeds to the city government, which is targeted to be given to its constituents.

“Even more rewarding later on, is reaping the fruit of one’s labor, as they can consume their harvest, which are nutritiously good and safe, without going beyond the comforts of their home,” she added.

This Monday, DA-NorMin will continue to distribute more vegetable seeds to the different local governments across the Region, with DA-10’s Provincial Operations Center of the respective provinces through the city/municipal agriculture office expected to facilitate the distribution to its residents amid the imposed community quarantine.

On the other hand, the office has set up the ALPAS COVID-19 center to cater to the needs of walk-in clients interested to go into backyard gardening.

The center is open from Mondays to Sundays, from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

“We urge everyone to be one with us, to reinforce the government’s efforts during this difficult time, to ensure food is set at the tables of every Filipino household,” the director concluded.#