The Department of Health (DOH) plays a vital role in ensuring health wellness of the people most especially in times of crisis like Corona Virus Disease 19 (COVID 19) pandemic our country is facing today, which causes impediment in some human activities, and worst is compromising the entire human health.

The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. 02 (DA RFO 02) through its initiative in making food stable in every household, on May 12, 2020, had distributed 132 packs of assorted vegetable seeds, 50 seedling trays and two bags of klassman potting media to Cagayan Valley Center of Health Development (CVCHD) – Provincial Department of Health Office in the province of Quirino in support to the Plant, Plant, Plant Program (PPPP) Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) kontra Covid19 of the agency.

This undertaking came to prosper after Provincial Medical Doctor Jean M. Solomon of said office had signified their interest to DA RFO 02 requesting for a technical briefing on edible landscaping and backyard gardening to benefit their health frontliners in the province.

“We are thankful to DA because even amid this pandemic, we still find ways to make our quarantine days productive. Although this is very basic, we’ve learned something today on backyard gardening and other agri-related activities,” said Dr. Solomon.

Ms. Carol Albay, DA RFO 02 staff led the technical briefing on backyard gardening wherein these frontliners can do it while off-duty and subjective measures to ensure safe-food at all times.

She also added that the implementation of PPPP ALPAS in Region 02 is continuous along the way, specifically the revitalizing Gulayan Project, which has been identified as Gulayan sa Barangay, Gulayan sa Likod ng Bahay, Gulayan sa Opisina and Gulayan sa Paaralan.

“The DA RFO 02 is committed to serve not only to farmers and fishers but also to those who are battling over the containment of this virus, our frontliners.”

She also emphasized to the participants the importance of having a backyard garden even without reported COVID case in the said province.

“Now that region 02 is placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), and Quirino is Covid19 free, we should not be complacent. We adopt a gulayan sa bakuran and gulayan sa opisina so we can have easy access to food in times of crisis,” she added.

“In planting, we don’t need a big space. It is enough to use recyclable materials and has to be sustained. At first, in agriculture, we don’t see it as engaging, but as we started to reap our produce, we could tell that it is fulfilling.”

During her presentation, Albay exemplified DA RFO 02’s gulayan sa opisina, whereas, the agency is still maintaining. She also encouraged the participants to join the ‘Garden Mo, I-Flex Mo Challenge,’ a brainchild friendly competition of DA RFO 02, where they can show and inspire people from all walks of life their garden activities through social media platform like Facebook.

“We’re encouraging you to document your garden activity by tagging yourselves in our Facebook page DA Cagayan Valley. It will be a plus if we can bring our young ones closer to agriculture,” Albay expressed.

Meanwhile, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the City of Ilagan, Isabela, was also granted a 100 assorted vegetable seeds to distribute among its trainees and staff.

The DA RFO 02 is continually reaching out to farmers/fishers and other stakeholders to ensure the unhampered movement of food production, may it be in this time of pandemic and the long run.



(With reports from Juliane Florague)