MARAWI CITY: The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MENRE-BARMM) has begun establishing ‘survival gardens’ in forestlands across the Bangsamoro region.
This move is part of the region’s long-term plan to ensure food security in the region during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, according to a statement.
The regional government’s public information bureau in a statement furnished Ranao Star Philippines on Monday said BARMM’s Executive Secretary and concurrent BARMM’s environment, natural resources and energy minister Abdulraof Macacua directed all MENRE workforce in a memorandum to establish food production areas in forestlands suitable for vegetables and short-term crops.
“This is in pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the ‘Bayanihan to Heal as One Act’,” Macacua said.
“This survival garden will serve as another source of food for the region’s constituents, helping them ease the shortage of food supply,” he added.
Macacua said the implementation is region-wide through the Provincial Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (PENRE) officers and Palaw Rangers (Forest Rangers).
Some of the Palaw Rangers are former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants, who have been mobilized as well to aid in the region-wide establishment of the gardening program.
“They have already begun implementing the initiative in their respective communities early this month,” he said.
The PENRE offices continue to identify suitable planting areas in BARMM that are strategically located close to forest-dependent communities and where access to water is available for easy watering in preparation for the season.
“We express our heartfelt thanks to PENRE offices in implementing the massive food production program in each province. We also thank for the support of MFAR-BARMM headed by Minister Mohammad S. Yacob for providing the vegetable seeds,” Macacua said.
The Minister also encourages the Bangsamoro to practice vegetable gardening in the backyards of their households, too, during and even after the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
“Inaasahan namin na ang vegetable gardening na ito ay magpapatuloy hindi lang ngayong may pandemic, kundi pati na rin sa pang-araw-araw, dahil magiging malaking tulong ito sa bawat pamilya,” he added. (We expect that the vegetabe gardening will continue not only at this time of pandemic but everyday for it will be a great help to every family.) he added.
(Masiding Noor Yahya/RSP)