To ensure that the projects under the Department of Agriculture- National Urban and Peri-Urban Program (NUPAP) are properly implemented and maintained, the DA-NUPAP Central Office visited various urban communal garden sites in the Bicol region.

A total of 11 urban gardening sites were assessed by the representatives of DA-NUPAP Central Office mainly in the provinces of Masbate, Sorsogon, and Albay. The NUPAP team from Central Office was composed of Ms. Karren Estrella, Project Development Officer III, and Mr. Osmundo Villanueva, Administrative Assistant IV.

NUPAP, now a banner program of DA was created to mainstream and promote urban and peri-urban agriculture and other emerging agriculture practices. The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, schools, Barangay Local Government Units, and Farmer Cooperative and Associations are among the beneficiaries of the program.

Marilene Dimaculangan, DA RFO 5 NUPAP Regional Focal Person emphasized the goal of the program. She said, “NUPAP aims to ensure food security; reducing food miles into food steps to lower fuel consumption and cost of logistics ng sa ganoon ay mas available o kaya naman ay mas maging mura ang halaga ng mga gulay at prutas sa urban areas; creating livelihood opportunities lalo na doon sa mga may marami nang fresh produce at processed products; and promoting a healthy lifestyle by making available safe nutritious food dahil sa less chemical application.”

Dimaculangan further highlighted how the program extended its interventions to various beneficiaries. “Sa ngayon po mayroon na tayong established na 10 technology demonstration sites. May mga nabigyan na rin tayo ng rabbit house, rabbit heads, at feeds, at isang (1) mushroom house with equipment na katulad ng shredder, bagger, autoclave, mister, at iba pang mga kagamitan sa paggawa ng mushroom bags. In addition, mayroon na rin po tayong constructed na 2 unit ng grow-out nursery at 1 greenhouse with hydroponics,” she added.

Present during the National Monitoring and Field Evaluation were APCO of Masbate Wilfredo Nilmeda, Assistant APCO of Albay Jayson Gonzales, PLGU Masbate NUPAP Coordinator Precious Dawn Aspa, LGU Tiwi Municipal Agriculturist Joselito Claudio, LGU Masbate City HVCDP/NUPAP Coordinator Jackielou Dejumo, LGU Sorsogon City HVCDP/NUPAP Coordinator Christine Labitag, LGU Legazpi City Organic Agriculture Coordinator Grace Dejumo, LGU Legazpi City Organic Mushroom Coordinator Engr. Christina Villaraza, LGU Legazpi City Greenhouse Coordinator Merriam Borras, LGU Tiwi NUPAP Coordinator Engr. Michael Francisco, LGU Ligao NUPAP Coordinator Raissa Vargas, and DA RFO 5 NUPAP staff.

The provision of interventions will continuously be executed through the DA regional office led by Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla; OIC RTD for Operations Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez; and Field Operations Division OIC-Chief Earl Vincent Vegas. (Ma. Edelyn Bongalos | Photos by Raymond Adversario and Hermito Privaldos)