SANTO TOMAS CITY, Batangas – The national government has provided some PHP2.25 million worth of agricultural inputs and facilities to help farming within the city's borders and its immediate environs increase their production while lowering logistics costs.
Mayor Arthur Marasigan on Thursday told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the allocation from the Department of Agriculture-Calabarzon (DA-4A) will also pay for the introduction of alternative livelihoods to citizens.
“Let me express my gratitude for including the city among the beneficiaries of the National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP), and we promise to monitor the active use of these interventions,” he said.
Marasigan said a distribution activity was conducted on Tuesday at the National Shrine of Padre Pio in Barangay San Pedro.
He said the Santo Tomas Farmers Federation, five organizations benefiting from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), six communal garden sites, and the Santa Teresita Farmers Association received over PHP1 million worth of “interventions.”
These interventions came in the form of seeds, fertilizers and farm tools, Marasigan added.
The DA’s NUPAP seeks to promote farming in urbanized environments and other areas close to cities using specialized planting methods.
Moreover, the DA-4A has supplied a greenhouse to the Catholic Church-run Ka Pio Farm, and will soon be installing a solar-powered irrigation system there.
The government is reportedly investing over PHP1.1 million in the development of this farm.
Parish priest and rector Oscar Andal said the church leadership is glad to establish the Ka Pio Farm on church property to promote unity between the government and the church while also contributing to food security.
“This is our service in the name of faith, fellow human beings, and nature,” he said.
The DA-4A, in collaboration with the local government of Santo Tomas, also conducted a Farmers' Field School (FFS) to teach 16 “farmer-leaders” new techniques for boosting the production of vegetables and properly managing various plant pests, he added. (PNA)