Provincial government of Pampanga and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) launched the upland vegetable farming program to ensure food security while providing livelihood opportunities for indigenous peoples (IPs).
This initiative, which is part of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, will benefit at least 1,200 IPs from the towns of Floridablanca and Porac, and city of Mabalacat.
Under the program, members of the Aeta communities will plant vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, and eggplant for their own consumption and which they can also sell.
Governor Dennis Pineda said the concept of cultivating the land for vegetable farming for the Aetas is a replication of the Season-Long Training on Vegetable Production project for IPs in Floridablanca in 2017.
“This will be modeled after the Department of Agriculture’s Plant Plant Plant program to aid them in their daily needs, as well as help them generate income through their harvest,” Pineda said.
For his part, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III lauded the provincial government for its effort to provide emergency livelihood assistance to the marginalized sectors of the society, including Aetas and other IPs.
“We need to take care of them [IPs]. Let us look at their needs, let’s provide emergency livelihood, let’s take care of their health. With the help and support of the province of Pampanga and Governor Pineda, we are able to do it,” Bello said.
TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed. (CLJD/MJSC-PIA 3)