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Sen. Cynthia A. Villar

Villar endorses urban gardening in Marikina 

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Senathor Cynthia A. Villar donated 50 sacks of fertilizer and 24 packs of seeds to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Marikina City to help establish farms and vegetable gardens in support of the city government’s goal to achieve food sustainability amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by Manila Standard.

The assistance, provided through the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG), were turned over to the National TVET Trainers Academy of TESDA (NTTA-TESDA)-Marikina City.

Perla Lucas, NTTA-TESDA Administrator, earlier sought the assistance of Villar, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, in line with her advocacy to transform vacant lots and pocket spaces into urban farms by planting assorted vegetables.

Villar said the organic fertilizers came from kitchen wastes collected from households in Las Pinas City. The kitchen wastes were then turned over to composting and vermi-composting centers where they are converted into organic fertilizers. 

The collection of kitchen wastes in the city is in line with the Senator’s ongoing initiative to manage the city’s waste and at the same time, provide livelihood to residents.

“Our composting and recycling projects have transformed 70% of Las Pinas City’s household wastes into reusable resources and enabled us to save on garbage hauling services. This is very timely given the challenges on garbage collection with the ongoing restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Villar said, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Environment.

Villar said workers in these composting and recycling centers live nearby and operate on spacious areas where social distancing can be easily observed. In a month, the composting centers established by the senator produce 70 tons of fertilizers which are being given to farmers from nearby provinces.

“In Metro Manila, there are also urban gardeners and vegetable farmers who benefit from this free farm input,” Villar emphasized.

The senator assured that she will continue to work with national and local governments, as well as communities to advance urban gardening so Filipino families are able to meet their daily nutrition needs especially during the COVID-19 health crisis.

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