Cagayan de Oro adds veggies to food packs for most vulnerable families
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Cagayan de Oro city government added 3 kilograms of vegetables to its relief packs for more than 12,000 families living in the city's 53 relocation sites.
The agripacks are on top of the standard food relief packs being distributed by the city, Paul Douglas Calingin, COVID-19 economic cluster head, said on Saturday, April 4.
He said that the city government will distribute the vegetables to the 12,513 "most vulnerable" families who are now living in relocation sites.
Calingin asked the families to wait in their homes as the food and agripacks will be delivered to them. "We will be done delivering all 12,513 agripacks by Tuesday evening," Calingin said.
Calingin said that Mayor Oscar Moreno followed Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar's order for local government units to buy local farmers' produce.
Calingin said that the families will receive 1 kg of chicken, 1-2 kgs of squash, several tomatoes, mongo beans, and sweet potatoes.
Moreno has directed that all households across the city will receive food relief packs, except those who can afford or can still provide for their families without help from the city.
Oliver Egypto, COVID-19 governance cluster head, said that companies from the private sector are also distributing food packs.
Among them are the Rotary Club West and the agriculture giant GAMA group, Egypto said.
Calingin said that the City Agricultural Productivity office also met with the city's 800 urban gardeners to provide them with seeds from the DA so these can be planted right away.
The city's East-Westbound Terminals and Public Market stall owners are also pooling vegetables to distribute to the city's frontline workers at the quarantine control checkpoints.
The city's Westbound Terminal is also the city's agrimarket where agricultural produce from all over Region 10 are stored and distributed.
Calingin also assured that the city has no shortage of agricultural supplies. However, farmers from Bukidnon and Claveria in Misamis Oriental are facing logistical challenges as a direct result of the health crisis.
"We don't have a supply problem. Farmers from Bukidnon don't have a problem coming into the city, but when they return to Bukidnon, they are considered as PUMs, and farmers don't like this," Calingin said.
For now, farmers and traders meet at the boundary checkpoints between Talakag, Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro. This results in double handling of cargoes, which also raises the cost of the vegetables when they reach the Westbound terminal.
Calingin said that they are now talking with the DA and the Department of Health (DOH) to look for solutions to this problem. – Rappler.com