September 23, 2023

One hundred twenty-one barangays of Baguio City were given vegetable seeds for their community gardens and household vegetable plots since the program started on March 23.

City Veterinary and Agricultural Office Head Brigit Piok Piok said the seeds distributed for the “survival gardens” consist of pechay, zucchini, beans, eggplant, arugula, and other vegetables that grow under temperate climate.

Piok said those without backyard or have limited space could engage in container gardening or growing plants on pots, plastic, or other containers.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong led other local officials in encouraging the practice of backyard gardening in the city’s barangays as a means of alternative food source and even livelihood due to the economic havoc and food supply disruption caused by the Covid-2019 pandemic.

The CVAO asked barangay officials to post their gardens on the office’s Facebook page for monitoring. 

Piok said the gardens in several barangays that her office visited showed positive results.

She said the CVAO also give seeds to those who visit the office at Slaughterhouse Compound. The office plans to give trainings on backyard gardening in the coming weeks to best serve the public.

Since the program had no budget, the city had to allocate P151,000 from its Covid-19 funds, P84,000 from the CVAO, and the Department of Agriculture pitched in with P93,000. 

Piok said her office will be asking for a specific allocation for the program’s funding in next year’s city budget since the program is now a permanent activity of the local government. 

She will also ask for additional CVAO personnel since her office has only two agriculturists with plantilla or permanent positions. – Gaby Keith