The quick action of the Department of Agriculture (DA) during the start of the enhanced community quarantine in the country, especially Luzon’s island, prompted the launching of Plant, Plant, Plant Program (PPPP), or Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19 in mid-April.

In his 5th State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said, “the growth of our economy depends on a robust agricultural sector.”

He highlighted the DA’s proposal to the congress of the P66 B stimulus package to help the farmers and fisherfolks recover the impact of Covid19.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar alerted the regional offices to take effect said program and allow food production to make it more accessible, safe, and affordable.

Agriculture is one of the most hit sectors in the country; however, because of the PPPP, the agency had given assorted vegetable seeds and seedlings to the public.

In the Cagayan Valley Region, the DA Regional Field Office No. 02 is in-charged and assigned all its provincial stations to distribute, facilitate, and monitor.

Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo, on Wednesday, July 29, reported to the region its latest accomplishment in bringing the most sought after data on the said program during the Open-house and 46th Nutrition Month Celebration in DA gymnasium, San Gabriel, Tuguegarao City.

With the approved budget of P31 B on March 27, 2020, by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), PPPP seeks to increase national agri-fishery production, particularly rice, the DA RFO 02 has successfully distributed a total of 113, 883 vegetable seed packs in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Batanes of which 93 cities and municipalities with 14, 694 households amounting to 5, 884, 055. 71 pesos.

In vegetable seedling distribution, 813, 870 pesos allotted to the region’s 5,030 households in 65 cities and municipalities accounting to 162, 774 packs.

“The agency also recognized that small communities may be a game-changer in the said program, that was why we tapped villages and implemented an adopt-a-barangay scheme with 12 adopted barangay with a total fund of P603, 747,” said Edillo.

Even before the pandemic, the Department of Education has a robust collaboration with the DA. The school garden(Gulayan sa Paaralan) has been implemented in the school divisions of Cagayan, City of Ilagan, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya with a total fund of Php 6,500,000.

Some 38 government offices in the region also got P572, 000 funding support from DA.

In support of the said program, it also launched on April 20, 2020, the DA Regional Office No. 02 (DA RFO 02) kicked off the #GardenMoIflexMo challenge that aimed to post on social media the garden activities, whether an existing or start-up space. It also showcases different vegetables planted on backyards, recycled materials, or any areas that use creativity.

Duterte said that PPPP is easier to achieve. He added a few good men, regional directors, Dar, and dedicated workers down below to make this a success.

“Mas madali ito kaysa Build, Build, Build… it is more of how you try to cooperate [with] the government for their benefits,” lamented Duterte.