It all started in 100 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) beneficiaries in the urban barangays of Cagayan de Oro City.

Now, organic gardening through the Urban Container Household Gardening (UCHG) has become a household activity among the 18,135 beneficiaries across the 80 barangays of the city.

Elvie de Guzman, a 4Ps beneficiary in Barangay 22, Cagayan de Oro City planted varieties of vegetables since she joined the Urban Container Household Gardening in 2014.

Additionally, the Local Government Unit of Cagayan de Oro City has expanded its coverage of organic gardening to the members of KALIPI (Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina) and other interested neighbors of 4Ps grantees.

DSWD developed KALIPI, a federation of women’s organizations, to assist the local government units in supporting and empowering women in the localities.

Building Community-Based Vegetable Production

Former Mayor Oscar Moreno started urban organic gardening in 2014 to address food insecurity in inexpensive, healthier, environment and family-friendly ways.

The goal of UCHG is for every 4Ps household to have physical, social, and economic access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food.

Incumbent Mayor Rolando Uy continues the implementation of the UCHG, a program spearheaded by the 4Ps City Inter-Agency Committee (CIAC).

Arlene Baja, LGU Link of Cagayan de Oro and CIAC Secretariat, disclosed that Ayala Foundation Inc is closely working with CIAC members and 4Ps beneficiaries to build a community-based vegetable production.

Officers of the Ayala Foundation Inc., together with representatives of the City Inter-Agency Advisory Committee of Cagayan de Oro City, inspect a 4Ps garden in Indahag, a hinterland barangay of the city. Photo by the Social Welfare and Community Development of the City Social Welfare and Development.

Baja disclosed that Garrett Paolo Nolasco, Operation Senior Manager for Mindanao of the Ayala Foundation Inc., and her colleague at the foundation frequently provide technical assistance to the 4Ps grantees and KALIPI members.

Ayala Foundation supports organic gardening’s planting for productivity efforts or the Agri-Enterprise. This is the livelihood phase of the UCHG, where the foundation helps the 4Ps beneficiaries and their neighbors market their produce.

A 4Ps couple show their squash harvest in Palalan, Tablon, Cagayan de Oro City. The grower would deliver their produce to a buyer identified by CIAC partner stakeholders. Photo by the Social Welfare and Community Development of the City Social Welfare and Development.

Organic gardening is CIAC’s contribution to building community-based vegetable production.

Ayala Foundation Inc is one of the CIAC’s Board, along with City Social Welfare and Development, DSWD Field Office X, Department of Education, Department of Health, Social Action Center of the Diocese of Cagayan de Oro, formerly the City Agriculture Office, now Agricultural Productivity Operation Office (APOO), City Nutrition Action Office (CNAO), among others.

A converge efforts among stakeholders

The successful implementation of the UCHG and the eventual expansion of the CIAC’s project result from the convergence efforts among 4Ps stakeholders.

The CSWD leads the implementation by conducting orientation for prospective 4Ps grantees. In addition, the CSWD personnel helps monitor and assess the project’s progress and convenes the stakeholders for regular evaluation.

The City Links of the DSWD identify the beneficiaries and provide the overview and objectives of the project during project orientations. In contrast, other CIAC members provide guidance, set goals, and act as evaluators during project evaluation.

These include the following offices: APOO provides technical support to 4Ps households and ensures proper way of planting and growing vegetables; NorMinVeggies provides market development support; City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office trains members on solid waste management and recycling; City Nutrition Department of the City Health Office guides members on the nutritional benefits of vegetables to members of the family; 80 barangay councils monitor supports and follow up partners; Household Cluster Leaders and Coordinators monitor the production of vegetables, provide coaching for the cluster, and submit required reports.

The project has trained and engaged all 18,135 4Ps registered households to plant using the urban container household gardening technology.

4Ps is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly children aged 0-18. On April 17, 2019, former President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act 11310, or the 4Ps Act, institutionalizing the program as the national poverty reduction strategy of the government.

Northern Mindanao has 262,948 active beneficiaries momentarily.