CHE-DSDS “matches” Benguet farmers’ and LB communities’ needs amid COVID19

Around four metric tons of assorted vegetables from Tublay, Benguet were given to various beneficiaries in Los Baños, Laguna last April 7 as part of Oplan Damayan, a project spearheaded by the Department of Social Development Services of the College of Human Ecology of UPLB (CHE-DSDS).

The project aims to help both farmers in the Cordillera region and poor households in other localities needing food aid during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

“Amid the physical distancing, we want to promote social solidarity during the ECQ. We want to support two needy groups through this project: the farmers, by raising funds to purchase their vegetables, and, the needy communities or groups, by providing a healthy addition to relief packs,” Clarice Colting-Pulumbarit, project coordinator and chairperson of CHE-DSDS.

Oplan Damayan raised funds with several partners in order to finance the purchase of vegetables to be donated to beneficiary groups.

Its partners are Rotary District 3820 World Class Presidents – Be a Gift to the World Fdn; College of Development Communication, UPLB; Green Mountain Circle-Cordilleran Society (GMC-CS) Alumni; Association of Development Communication Educators and Practitioners of the Philippines (ADCEPP); CHE-Institute of Human Nutrition and Food; CHE-Department of Human and Family Development Studies; CHE-Department of Community and Environmental Resource Planning; and Rotary Club of Los Banos Makiling.

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR), through its KADIWA project, assisted Oplan Damayan by providing the trucks and drivers needed to transport the vegetables.

The LGU of Tublay, Benguet, through the Municipal Agriculture Office led by Jeffrey Sotero, provided the vegetables.

The project was also assisted by the LGU of Los Baños, Laguna through the Mayor’s office and Municipal Agriculture Office by providing a drop-off point and facilitating the distribution of some of the packs to the beneficiaries.

The vegetables were already pre-packed by the Tublay LGU into 1,311 bags with an average 3.25 kg of assorted vegetables in each for ease in distribution to beneficiary households.

The partner organizations  identified the beneficiaries, among them trolley and pedicab drivers, municipal frontliners such as barangay health workers and garbage collectors, stranded UPLB students, and other needy households and groups in the municipality.

“As an extension initiative, we believe that this project is part of UPLB’s mandate as a national university to do what we can to serve the needy communities” Pulumbarit said.

She further explained that the initiative is CHE’s way of supporting their learning communities or those that they engage with in many of their courses.

””In particular, CHE hopes to promote resilient and inclusive human ecosystems,” Pulumbarit added.

Earier, CHE-DSDS also provided several sacks of rice to its partner community-based organizations, the San Antonio Trolley Drivers Association (SANTO) and the Riverside Neighborhood Association (RNA).

The initiative acknowledges the DA-CAR, the MAO of Tublay and Los Banos, and those who gave their time and effort, despite the challenges, for the project to finally be implemented.

CHE- DSDS, GMC-CS, and partners continue to coordinate with other LGUs and possible private partners interested to conduct the same initiative in their respective areas. Interested parties may contact Clarice Colting-Pulumbarit at 09478608441 and ccpulumbarit@up.edu.ph.

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