BONTOC, Mountain Province– Residents living in the different municipalities can still survive the serious negative effect of the wrath of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) even without the opening of the province for tourism and other related economic activities, a top provincial official said here recently.
Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. said that the people in the different municipalities had been resilient over the past several months as they were able to immediately adjust to the crisis situation and turned idle lands in their communities to plantation sites that had served as their source of food while awaiting for the situation to normalize.
He pointed out the people of the province had been used to difficult situations in the past thus they had no problem adjusting to the situation during the community quarantine to fight the deadly virus, thus, food will not be a problem for the people in the coming months.
“We are elated to witness that many idle lands were already planted with vegetables and high value crops that contribute in our efforts to ensure food security and give our environment a chance to regain its grandeur. We hope the resilience of our people will continue beyond the pandemic so we can sustain food sufficiency in the province in the coming months,” Gov. Lacwasan stressed.
The governor explained that people in the rural areas have greater opportunities of surviving the ongoing wrath of the pandemic because there areidle lands that could be converted to productive ones, especially in the production of food that will sustain food needs, unlike in urban centers where most of the needs of the people are dependent on their employment, thus, the sudden stoppage of business activities, particularly the tourism-oriented establishments, have caused employees to struggle to survive the serious negative effect of the pandemic.
According to him, the impact of the pandemic to the people in the rural areas is less compared to those living in urban centers because the residents in the remote communities have been nurtured to be productive individuals as they maximize the use of their time, effort and resources to cultivate available lands in their backyard to raise food for their basic needs.
Lacwasan stipulated that being an agriculture-based province, food is not a serious problem for the people even during these difficult times because most of the residents have their own production areas right in their midst which they maximized for producing their own food.
He reported that during the total lockdown, residents took the opportunity of going back to the basics in tilling the idle lands in their surroundings to plant cash crops which they could sell to their neighbors or for their family needs.
Some parts of the province serve as the source of vegetables that are being brought to the different trading centers in nearby towns in Benguet and the Cagayan and Ilocos regions that provide sustainable income to the agriculture industry stakeholders to help sustain the growth of the local economy. By HENT