February 29, 2024

If there is one advocacy that this near-sighted Ibaloy writer is passionate about, it is for every household to achieve a sustainable level of food security especially in these times of soaring prices and overall economic insecurity. This problem is even more acute for the majority of our countrymen who can barely afford the basic necessities of life. Having a source of stable and affordable food supply is key.
The government should prioritize programs that would train their constituents on how to produce their own food, if possible, like engaging in vegetable gardening, livestock raising, or what not. If one does not have the space, then container gardening would do. If there is a will, there is a way.
It’s great that the city government continues to encourage urban gardening and even distributes seeds through the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture. May programs such as these continue to prosper and similar such projects be implemented in the near future.
In this regard, we support city council Resolution 561, s. 2022, urging all public and private schools to establish Gulayan sa Paa-ralan.
The measure was based on a similar proposal of Scout Official For a Day (Sofad) councilor Ralph Gwyneth Sapdoy that was adopted during the Sofad council session on Nov. 7.
“Having a vegetable garden in educational institutions is an innovative way of teaching students to value the importance of being resourceful and innovative in food source and livelihood; adds beauty to the school; and can serve as a source of livelihood especially to those who have a meager family income,” the resolution stated.

The Baguio City Jail-Male Dorm has a total population of 408 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) as of Dec. 14with a majority of the PDLs committed due to illegal drug violations.
This was reported by Jail Insp. Kevin Pecay during the fourth quarter meeting of the Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac) last Dec. 14.
He said 242 PDLs or 59 percent are undergoing trial for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; 59 or 14 percent for rape; 27 or 6.50 percent for murder; 21 or 5.29 percent theft; and 13 homicide or 3.12 percent.
As to the mode of release of PDLs due to RA 9165 for the fourth quarter of 2022, he said 16 or 44 percent are on bail; eight acquitted, 22 percent; six served sentence, 17 percent; four were dismissed, 11 percent; and two or six percent are on probation.
Pecay said 71 PDLs are undergoing face-to-face outpatient drug treatment and rehabilitation at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, while around 25 undertook the drug dependency examination.

Meanwhile, with Christmas Day just a few winks away, Baguio continues to be at low risk (level 1) status in terms of Covid-19 cases as of Dec. 12.
During the management committee meeting of local officials, City Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo said the city’s positivity rate in the past two weeks decreased from 17 to 14.17 percent while its average daily attack rate dipped from 4.3/100,000 to 3.6/100,000.
Baguio’s two-week Covid-19 growth rate showed a slight increase from (-)31 to (-)28.30 percent while its weekly infection rate rose from 0.79 to 1.01 percent.
The city’s hospital critical utilization rate declined from 28.5 to 24.01 percent (91/379) while isolation facility bed occupancy increased from 3.37 to 5.6 percent (15/267).
The average reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests for the past two weeks decreased from 119 to 117 per day.