The Covid-19 Pandemic has shown that hunger is real. There is an estimated 7.6 million Filipinos who experienced hunger according to the September 2020 Social Weather Stations survey and this equates to about 313, 667 households in Quezon City that are food insecure. In response, the QC Food Security Task Force (QC FSTF) was created by Mayor Josefina ‘Joy’ Belmonte and the task force through it’s #GROWQC Kasama ka sa Pag−unlad sa Pagkain, Kabuhayan, at Kalusugan initiative doubled its efforts to promote urban agriculture.
The establishment of more urban farms is part of the city’s Covid-19 response to fight hunger. “Kung hindi pa naaaccept ng tao, nasa giyera po tayo ngayon and it is one of the most difficult… kasi invisible ang kalaban natin,” said Emmanuel Hugh F. Velasco, co−chairperson of QC Food Security Task Force.
Recognizing the vital role of the program to ensure the availability and accessibility of food, the Quezon City Reservists of the Philippine Army-AFP has pledged their full support to #GrowQC and the establishment of urban farms within Quezon City.
“A hungry man is an angry man. Yung gutom na tao ay galit na tao,” shared LTC. Job Jacob Gonzales PA (RES).
With the support of the QC Military Reservists, the QC FSTF will be able to set up more community urban farms in the city, to offset the rising joblessness in the country due to the pandemic.
Sgt. Noel Alopijan, a military reservist, even expressed willngness to share his knowledge and skills in converting scrap metal into useful farming tools to help urban farmers. “Since meron tayong bagong project na susuportahan, which is yung #GrowQC food security initiative of Quezon City, naisip namin na magdonate ng equipment at tools, ” he said. These tools will be of great help to community urban farms in the city.
The impact of urban farms in the city will not only be to provide food, but also to make community members become close and to encourage the Bayanihan Spirit. “Namumulat tayo sa kahalagahan ng pagkakaisa, the Bayanihan spirit during the pandemic.” Said 1st Lt. Dawn Solayao, military reservist.
The military reservists reminded QC citizens that their function is not just to help resolve conflicts or assist in disaster and rescue operations, but also to provide useful community services like developing agriculture and achieving food security in the city.