Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

PBBM: DA-DOJ project proves government’s commitment to food security and rehabilitative justice

Author: DA-AFID | 13 July 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. expressed full support to the collaborative project of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to utilize vast idle lands for agricultural development and reformation of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

“This initiative attests to our unyielding commitment to both food security and rehabilitative justice. By investing in these capacity-building activities, we are not only helping boost food production but also giving our PDLs opportunities to realize their potential for positive change and for reformation,” President Marcos said.

On July 13, the President witnessed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing between DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban and DOJ Undersecretary Raul Vasquez for the Reformation Initiative for Sustainable Environment for Food Security or the DA-DOJ RISE Project.

The project, which will be launched at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) penal colony in Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City, aims to utilize BuCor’s idle lands for agricultural production to support the government’s campaign to boost the country’s food sufficiency levels. It will also engage the PDLs in farm work to reform and prepare them for reintegration into society.

The PDLs will be provided with tailored support services designed to build and improve their food production and agricultural skills and managerial and operational capacity. The project is also expected to sustainably improve the PDLs’ source of food and income.

The project, which will initially cover at least 500 hectares of BuCor’s land in Iwahig, will be implemented by the BuCor and the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), DA-High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), and the DA-National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP).

In collaboration with other DA banner programs, the DA-MIMAROPA regional field office, and partner companies from the private sector, the project will establish technology demonstration farms and provide appropriate training for the PDLs.

“I hope that the RISE Project will encourage more public-private partnerships and inspire our people to pursue activities that will leave a lasting impact on our society,” President Marcos said.

He recognized the indispensable role played by the private sector partners in the success of government programs by bringing in expertise and technological advancements.

The agricultural development activities to be conducted in Iwahig include the establishment of a 30-hectare cashew production area, a one-hectare edible landscaping and agri-tourism site, and a 25-hectare yellow corn production area.

Half a hectare for the growing of 25,000 tilapia fingerlings, 40-hectare rice production area, and 400-hectare forage and dairy production area will also be established in Iwahig.

The RISE Project will help address various issues and meet several sustainable development goals that go beyond providing green infrastructure and ensuring food security such as social inclusion, climate change adaptation, poverty alleviation, and urban water and waste management.

“With us striving towards a shared vision, I am confident that we can build a nation that provides an equitable and egalitarian society for our people that provides opportunities for all and ignites our people’s faith in their potential to transform our society for the better,” the President said. ### (by Gumamela Celes Bejarin/photo  by Alan Jacalan, DA-AFID)

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