Baguio City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD-CAR) through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program-Regional Program Management Office signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agriculture (DA)-CAR to converge in the implementation of Gulayan sa Barangay for the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the region on August 6, 2019 at the DA-CAR Conference Hall, Baguio City.

Anchored on DA’s thrust to increase food production and ensure safe food availability and affordability to people, the Gulayan sa Barangay project aims to encourage individuals, families and communities of Pantawid Pamilya to implement community gardening activities that will eventually promote food production at the household and community level and ensure provision of access to fresh, organically produced food.

The new partnership with DA-CAR aims to strengthen and enhance the implementation of Gulayan sa Barangay of the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries of DSWD-CAR who started their backyard garden as early as 2017. This initiative will eventually contribute the improvement of the overall health of the Pantawid beneficiaries in the region.

“This collaboration with DA seeks to ensure the sustenance and quality of vegetable production among our poor communities in the region. It will also strengthen the participation of our communities to take part in the production of nutritious and economically viable vegetables. The success of this project relies on our concerted efforts,” DSWD-CAR OIC Director Leo L. Quintilla said.

As part of the MOA, the DA-CAR will provide technical assistance and training support to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries during Family Development Sessions at the municipal and barangay levels. As the prime implementer of agriculture and fishery program in the region, DA-CAR is tasked for the promotion of agricultural and fisheries development and growth, provides policy framework, public investment, and support services needed for domestic and export-oriented business.

Department of Agriculture-CAR Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey said, “We are challenged by the geographic terrain and the distance of the communities, but through this partnership, we hope that we can reach those communities that really need livelihood assistance in terms of agriculture. We also enjoin the involvement of our local government units and other line agencies in this initiative so that we can develop our communities economically and sustainably.”

The DA attached agencies like Agricultural Training Institute (ATI)-CAR and Bureau of Plant Industry-Baguio National Crop Research Development and Production Support Center (BPI-BNCRDPSC) were also present during the MOA signing. The ATI-CAR is tasked to provide capability building and complementary extension activities such as technical assistance to Pantawid beneficiaries, while BPI-BNCRDPSC will provide technical assistance and coordination to the project, as deemed necessary.

Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Coordinator Fatima Florendo furthered, “the Gulayan sa Barangay project is anchored on the Sustainable Development Goal 2, to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. This project is also based on DSWD’s National Advisory Committee Resolution No. 38 Series of 2016: Enjoining Pantawid Pamilya partner beneficiaries to Engage in Backyard/Communal/Container Gardening.”

As of April 25, 2019, there are 31,375 Household (HH) beneficiaries engaged in Gulayan sa Barangay in the Cordillera with Apayao and Benguet provinces topped the most number of HH beneficiaries engaging in the project. There are about 1,414 established community and school-based Gulayan sa Burangay in the region.

Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries as project partners present during the MOA signing received variety of vegetable seeds and hose (for irrigation) from DA-CAR through its Regional High Value Development Program to supplement their communal garden production.

“Agyamyaman kami iti daytoy a programa ta babaen ti DSWD ken DA, mamintinar me ti bassit nga garden ti Pantawid nga grupo me idjay ili me. Daytoy inted da nga bukel ken hose ket umunay nga pangsuposop me idjay gulayan me (We are thankful for the program through DSWD and DA because we can now maintain our small farm in our place. The crop seeds and hose they gave us will surely supplement our needs in our communal garden),” Danelia Toyoken Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary from Sagada, Mt. Province said. ### Marlo C. Abyado, Jr., Information Officer II

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