To generate extra income, the excess of what the informal settlers’ families could consume will be linked up with socially-committed stores like Rustan’s to help market the vegetables.
By Ace June Rell S. Perez
Sun Star Davao
Oct 2, 2016
“My attention was caught when I saw a squatter’s shanty standing on a vacant space in the sidewalk in Mandaluyong where beside it was a small garden planted with pechay, ampalaya and luyang dilaw, among other things,” he said, adding that this prompted him to meet with the officials of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), formerly the Bureau of Agricultural Extension (BAEx) and instructed them to conduct a survey of “how much vacant spaces are there in the different parts of the big cities.”
Piñol told the ATI and BPI that their technicians can teach these informal settlers, through a simple training on how to plant vegetables “in every available space, with the permission of the city governments.”
“Knowing that most of these informal settlers have virtually nothing in their pockets to buy food, the Garden in the Sidewalk program could provide them not only food but also extra money, as well,” he said.
The DA, Piñol said, will provide them with the basic tools like hoes, spades, shovels and plastic sprinklers and then supply them with compost materials produced by a group supported by Senator Cynthia Villar.
Also, DA can extend services, if available like providing the illegal settlers with organic fertilizers and vermicompost to further enrich the soil in their gardens.