The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), in partnership with maritime training center Southern Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS) and the Association of Technical Schools in Manila, Inc. (ATSMI), will spearhead training programs that would introduce urban community agriculture in the busy areas of Manila.
SIMS and ATSMI President Glenn Mark Blasquez PhD, said the project, dubbed as “Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC)”, aims to end armed conflict and poverty in the country, as part of TESDA’s Food Policy Program 2030, a ground foundation to make sure that the Philippines experiences “zero hunger,” supported by other government agencies.
“Imagine if every barangay in Manila is engaged in Urban Farming, or planted vegetables instead of flowers in Manila’s Parks? That will surely mitigate hunger of poor families within the city,” Blasquez said in a statement.
He said they also plan to collect animal feces in Manila Zoo to use as fertilizers, which will be distributed free in all barangays in the City of Manila to support the urban farming project.
“This will surely benefit the community in eradicating wastes and turn it to fertilizers for the vegetables,” adds Blasquez.
He said they will start conducting training on October 3, and the project was already launched in a groundbreaking ceremony last September 28, in Barangay 668 in Ermita, Manila.
The ceremony was graced by Aniceto John Bertiz, TESDA Deputy Director General for Partnership and Linkages, and MARINO Partylist, among others.
Bertiz, in his speech, said that to participate in the advocacy to end poverty and hunger, TESDA’s contribution to help the community is conducting a training in Urban Community Agriculture, providing an end-to-end program with the theme “Kaalaman, Kakakayahan, Kabuhayan.”
Blasquez noted that the first batch of trainees are members of the Badjao indigenous people, and were given seeds as startups for urban farming, and grocery packs. They will undergo five weekends of training for the project.
The project was also launched through the efforts of Regional Director Florencio Sunico, Jr., TESDA Manila District Director Archie Grande, and supported by PESO-City of Manila Director Fernan Bermejo.
The program is one of the directives of the TESDA Director General Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña for all the Regional and District/Provincial Directors to provide scholarship programs on construction and agriculture sector, to develop stable employment conditions, alleviate poverty, and to have food sustainability in the community.
The project has already started in Brgy. Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City, Brgy. 178, Zone 19, Maricaban, Pasay City; and will also launch in Brgy. Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, Brgy. Sun Valley, Parañaque City, and Brgy. Fortune in Marikina City.
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