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In response to the issue of food security, the City Government of Isabela, under the leadership of Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, participated in the launch of the “Halina’t Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay” (HAPAG) sa Barangay Project. This initiative aligns with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2023-001. The launch event took place at the SP Session Hall, September 18.
During the presentation, HAPAG Focal LGOO Arnel Alvarez discussed the legal foundation and the underlying reasons for the project. He also went over the performance metrics, outlined the responsibilities of a Local Government Unit, and mentioned that for the acquisition of vegetable seedlings and other farming supplies, collaboration with the City Agriculture Office is recommended. Additionally, he highlighted that the said office is available to offer further support to the barangays.
Mayor Turabin-Hataman emphasized the need for community involvement in tackling hunger and food security issues, emphasizing that it makes more sense for Isabela City to produce its own vegetables, which would lead to lower vegetable prices in the local market. She also called for a revival of the importance of planting. “It’s not just an advocacy, but we truly believe that we should already be able to feed ourselves,” she stressed.
In his closing remarks, Vice Mayor Jhul Kifli Salliman, represented by Councilor Alan Ritchie Luis Biel, emphasized the significant legislative initiatives of the Sangguniang Panlungsod aimed at providing support to local farmers and landowners. He highlighted the importance of promoting community organic gardening through the enactment of resolutions and ordinances, which serve as a symbol of the office’s commitment to creating opportunities for the farmers and fostering the growth of the agricultural sector. Following the remarks, Mayor Turabin-Hataman led an on-site planting and harvesting activity at the Sunrise Communal Garden.
The HAPAG sa Barangay Project encourages urban residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables to promote urban agriculture and food security. (Words by SJ Asakil/Photos by M. Santos, CIO)