MPIF’s Bayan Tanim! Partners with DA, Agrea
Strengthens Advocacy of National Food Sustainability
Makati, Philippines, 15th September 2020 – Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF), the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Agrea Agricultural System International Inc., signed a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further strengthen their shared advocacy for food sustainability in the Philippines.
The MOU, signed respectively by DA Sec. William Dar, MPIF President Melody del Rosario, and Agrea President and Founding Farmer Cherrie Atilano, certifies their partnership to support MPIF’s latest initiative, Bayan Tanim!.
Bayan Tanim! is the Foundation’s response to support the ‘Plant, Plant, Plant” program of the DA and the “Move Food Initiative” of Agrea. It primarily aims to provide communities and displaced workers with the means to grow their own vegetables safely at home. As the country gradually moves towards the road to recovery, the campaign also aims to address the plight of those who lost their livelihoods and need alternative means to provide for themselves and their families.
“Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and its Foundation, through the guidance of our Chairman, Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, has constantly shown its support for the government’s initiatives, particularly during the pandemic,” says del Rosario. “Forging this partnership allows us to help vulnerable sectors recuperate with the current situation, while also strengthening our shared advocacy for food sustainability in the country.”
Partners Towards a Plant Nation
MPIF will maintain its role of identifying the community beneficiaries, spearheading the distribution of the Bayan Tanim! Agricultural Starter Kits and managing the overall implementation of the campaign.
The DA, through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) will support Bayan Tanim! through the (1) provision of 1,000 agricultural starter kits containing seedlings of common vegetables and other needed materials, (2) spearhead capability building activities including online courses, (3) lead in the advocacy campaign for Integrated Urban Agriculture, and (4) provide information, education, and communication materials on Urban Agriculture techniques.
Similarly, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), will contribute seedlings of commonly grown vegetables, provide trainings on Urban Agriculture techniques, and provide technical assistance to MPIF-identified community gardens. The BPI also commits to conducting regular and semestral monitoring of these gardens.
Agrea will continuously act as the main supplier of seedlings, guarantee quality control for the Bayan Tanim! planting kits, and sustain the operation of the program with MPIF.
“Every effort will always lead to a higher level of food production, ensuring food security for this country,” says DA Secretary William Dar. “At kapag mas organisado ang isang grupo, mas malaki ang makikita nating outcome from our efforts on urban agriculture.”
“There is freedom and power in knowing to grow your own food. This Covid-19 pandemic is reminding us to go back to the basic, the most basic is growing our own food which contributes to a healthy diet at home, environmental impact and savings in our household budget,” says Cherrie Atilano, who also serves as the DA’s Food Security Ambassador.
Support from the Group
Aside from the DA and Agrea, First Pacific Co Ltd. and Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) have committed to help communities through donating starter kits. FPC donated a total of 200 crates to Brgy. 128 Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila, Barangay Culiat in Quezon City, and to the Epiphany of the Lord Parish in Caloocan. LRMC will provide 100 crates to their fenceline communities in Manila and Pasay, in time for their anniversary.
With the assistance of Alagang Kapatid Foundation Inc., MPIF aims to identify and support the vulnerable sectors that have been drastically affected by the pandemic. Aside from distributing the Bayan Tanim plant crates, MPIF intends to extend support through community markets as livelihood.
Bayan Tanim is the third phase of MPIF’s COVID-19 efforts, following substantial PPE distributions to medical frontliners in over a dozen hospitals and Kaya Natin To, a relief pack distribution effort to over 3,700 families in underserved and marginalized communities.
For further information, please contact:
Melody del Rosario
VP – Public Relations and Corporate Communications, MPIC
9th Floor, Tower 1
Rockwell Business Center
Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City 1604
© 2019 Metro Pacific Investments Corporation