Cotabato City (April 20, 2020)—Bangsamoro Government’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE-BARMM) has begun establishing ‘survival gardens’ in forestlands across the Bangsamoro region.
This move is part of the Bangsamoro Government’s long-term plan to ensure food security in the region during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
BARMM’s Executive Secretary and concurrent MENRE-BARMM Minister Abdulraof Macacua released a memorandum order dated April 6, directing its MENRE workforce 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.
“Lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa PENRE Offices sa kanilang pag-implement ng massive food production program sa bawat probinsiya. Nagpapasalamat din kami sa suporta ng MAFAR-BARMM sa pangunguna ni Minister Mohammad S. Yacob sa kanilang pag-provide ng 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. (Bureau of Public Information)