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IP Beneficiaries, Engaged in Communal Gardening

The Indigenous peoples of Barangay Manihala, Sitio Palamang comprising of forty-one (41) beneficiaries from both Regular Conditional Cash Transfer (RCCT) and Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) of the Panttawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program have joined together to work hand-in-hand to organize a communal garden.

At first, beneficiaries of the said sitio have their individual backyard gardens which became a great source of vegetables for their daily consumption. They have seen positive results with regards to their health condition especially of their children. They have expressed that they do not need to buy vegetables since they can easily harvest their own from their garden and even sell some of it at times. Their determination in maintaining their individual backyard garden has led the Pantawid staff to encourage them to unitedly start their communal garden. 

With this, Pudo Paladan and Analiza Santos, both IP leaders, have led IP beneficiaries to look for an idle land which they can develop into a yielding ground. They were successful to find a land which is around half hectare and said to be owned by a non-beneficiary.

It was during the IP Consultation Dialoge cum Family day last November 6, 2017 that the IP beneficiaries received seedlings from the Department of Agriculture. They were also provided with gardening tools such as rakes, shovels, bolos, and iron bars among others. Additional seedlings and tools were provided by the Local Government Unit during an event initiated by the Municipal Mayor, Hon. Angel M. Saulong.

In January 2018, they started clearing the said idle land which took all forty-one (41) members of the group to clear and finally plant seeds for three (3) days. Most of their crops are different types of vegetables but they’ve also added corn, peanut, ginger and monggo beans.

To ease the difficulty in watering the plants, the water system provided by the Team Mission from Calapan City was extended through the unity and efforts of the members of the group. They have used up the excess hosepipes of the project and installed it near their garden. The Philippine National Police (PNP) Bansud also gave them pails and dippers which they also use in their everyday watering of their vegetables.

Regular meetings are also conducted to ensure the proper maintenance of the communal garden. Agreements were made which are religiously followed by all the members. All the forty-one (41) members were divided into seven (7) groups comprising of six (6) members each which shall have regular daily schedule of watering the plants and cultivating the plots. It was also agreed upon that if a member would not be able to do the task on his/her schedule, the said member shall pay Php 100.00 which will be used to buy food for those who will be working for that day

The group’s vision is to earn from the crops planted and to invest their income. As of the moment, the beneficiaries have expressed that they will continue to maintain their individual backyard gardens for their daily own personal consumption while the communal garden will be for the economic benefit of the group. Since the establishment of their gulayan, they have already acquired an estimated P1,000.00 for their harvest.

The Gulayan sa Barangay Project of Pantawid Pamilya has not only helped the IP beneficiaries on the aspect of health and economic condition but most especially build up camaraderie and unity of the IP beneficiaries.  It serves as a way for them to talk as a group more often and dream bigger together. ###

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