February 5, 2023

The Summer Capital’s survival garden program should be ramped up to the next level into “urban food forests” that could possibly supplement the food needs of the entire community.
This was the suggestion of newly installed City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) chief Donna Tabangin during the regular management committee meeting presided by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
“We could have city-level communal areas where we can establish food forests and edible landscapes,” she said.
The city’s survival garden initiative started in March during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic anchored on a resolution authored by Councilor Michael Lawana aimed at mitigating its impact on the city’s food system especially in the barangays.
An offshoot of the program was the conduct of the first “Baguio Survival Garden Contest” by the city government and Department of Agriculture where inter-district and city-wide winners of its in-garden and container garden categories were awarded cash prizes.
In July, the Health Services Office’s Nutrition Division gave city hall officials and interested employees vegetable packets to start their own survival gardens in celebration of Nutrition Month.
On the packaging of fruits and vegetables, Tabangin suggested the creation of a “challenge laboratory” where the city invites those in the industrial engineering sector and tasked to formulate the best packaging solutions of the produce.
“The proper packaging will increase the shelf life of vegetables and fruits like strawberries and even help solve the problem of waste,” she said. – Gaby B. Keith