By Freddie G. Lazaro

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – At least 3,000 Ilocos residents have received free pinakbet vegetable seeds and seedlings through the “Plant, Plant, Plant Program” of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

As of June 2, 2020, the DA’s Regional Field Office 1 has served a total of 3,342 individual farmers/households, 71 LGUs and 466 farmer-groups through this endeavor, with the 1,420 kilograms of seeds and 89,688 seedlings of assorted vegetables distributed worth Php11.034 million.

Realizing the importance of growing backyard vegetable garden at home, the residents personally visited the DA-Ilocos Norte Research and Experiment Center (DA-INREC) located in Batac City, Ilocos Norte and the Pangasinan Research and Experiment Center (PREC) in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan to get their share of free pinakbet-vegetable seeds and seedlings.

Dr. Hadji Pugat, resident doctor of the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, got his share of free vegetable seedlings from DA-INREC station as he intends to develop his own home vegetable garden, believing and supporting DA’s campaign on Urban gardening.

Meanwhile, a total of 15 sets of pinakbet seeds was turned over to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) based in Batac City, Ilocos Norte for distribution to the staff for their own home garden while another three sets were given to the Batac National High School in support for their Gulayan sa Paaralan project.

DA-INREC Chief Wilma Ibea reported that a total of 944 seedling trays of pinakbet vegetables at 100 seedlings per tray have already been distributed by INREC to the residents in Ilocos Norte.