In Maguindanao, Veggies are Part of the Government's Relief Package
Choose Philippines | Apr 07, 2020
Story by Arianne Apatan
Photos by LGU Datu Anggal Midtimbang
Thinking of how to make your noodles and canned goods healthy this quarantine period?
It isn’t a problem in the town of Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Maguindanao, as the Local Government Unit distributed various vegetables to residents affected by the crisis brought by the coronavirus.
Datu Anggal Midtimbang Mayor MaryJoy Esthephanie Midtimbang said they distributed the veggies on top of the usual relief packs which consist of rice, instant noodles, and canned goods. “We just tried to give it to our residents to see if they will still accept vegetables apart from those relief packs that we earlier prepared and distributed,” said Midtimbang. Apart from the residents, the veggies were also distributed to soldiers, policemen and barangay tanods who were manning the checkpoints.
Because vegetables help boost the immune system, the Maguindanao LGU veggie ration includes squash, eggplant, cucumber, ladies’ finger, water spinach, and onion leaves, among others.
These vegetables were brought from local farmers, including a women’s group organized by the local government into community vegetable gardening months before the COVID-19 pandemic. “We want to help the local farmers as well, to generate income, even if there’s a community quarantine. They need not travel out of town now to sell their goods,” Midtimbang added.
More veggie rations were distributed to the community this April, with calamansi, bitter gourd, and beans added to the list.
The Maguindanao LGU hopes that this will inspire more people to plant vegetables, even in their own backyards, to be able to feed themselves, especially in times like this. Literally, as the Filipino proverb says, “Kapag may itinanim, may aanihin.”