Baguio store owner initiates urban farming using recycled bottles amid ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 17, 2020   •   903

A minimart store owner in Barangay Asin Road, Baguio City has been helping his neighbors cope with the lockdown through urban farming.

Due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) residents are finding it difficult to live normal lives. Schools are suspended, several establishments are closed and everyone is worried about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Bradley Robuza’s store is among the establishments in Baguio hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. He said only few customers are buying from their mini store since the ECQ.

The public market is also too far from their area so they have no choice but to settle with buying pricey raw foods in the nearest market.

But despite the struggles, Bradely and his sister Rizelle Hernandez found a way to share kindness with the whole neighborhood amid the crisis.

They began urban farming in front of their store using used plastic bottles. For two weeks they planted tomatoes, cauliflower, pineapple and more. They were able to collect over 200 seedlings which they give away for free to customers and other residents.

Image may contain: one or more people and plant
Courtesy Bradley Robuza

“Since wala naman na pong gaanong bumibili po ngayon sa amin kaya may mga oras po kami mag-farm. Lugi negosyo pero okay lang po mai-share po namin ang biyaya ng Dios, (Since we only have a few customers we have time to farm. Our business is not doing good but it is okay because we can still share God’s blessing)

Rizelle said they are giving away the seedlings so they can also start planting raw foods in their homes. Urban farming can also be helpful in case the ECQ will be further extended.

“Libre naman po namin pinatubo kaya libre din po namin ipamimigay, (We farmed it for free so we will give it away for free),” she said.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor
Courtesy Bradley Robuza

Rizelle also said using plastic bottles also help in keeping the environment clean.

“Kaysa naman itapon namin iyong mga plastic bottles naisipan namin na diyan na lang namin itatanim para makabawas ng basura, (Instead of throwing out the plastic bottles, we thought we could use them for farming to lessen the litter),” she said.

More than 10 individuals have already benefited from their urban farm. Nelia Matuyog, a resident, is grateful for the free seedlings and said this is the right time to plant.

“May binigay din ang barangay kaya lang hindi kami nakaabot kaya thank you at meron [dito], (The barangay is also giving away [seedlings] but we were not able to get some so thank you for this),” she said. AAC

‘No need to panic buy,’ Palace reminds public

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2020

Consumers in Metro Manila flocked to grocery stores after President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday night, approved the reversion of some areas to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in response to the medical frontliners’ plea for a two-week “timeout”.

This prompted Malacañang on Monday to remind the public not to panic buy amid the implementation of MECQ in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“Walang dahilan para mag-panic buying. Supplies are high, delivered in supermarkets in anticipation of bigger demand prior to MECQ,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

The Palace official reiterated that only essential establishments will remain open including supermarkets, banks, and hospitals. He also said that the “time out” will be used to strengthen the government’s testing, tracing, and treatment of COVID-19.

“This is primarily to accede to the demand of the frontliners for a break. A ‘time out,'” Roque said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Baguio City, nasa 2nd wave ng infection; pagpapatupad ng checkpoint at lockdown, mas hihigpitan – Magalong

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2020

Magpapatupad ng mas mahigpit na checkpoint at border control ang Baguio City government kasunod ng pagtaas ng kaso ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) sa lungsod, ayon kay Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Naniniwala si Magalong na nasa ikalawang bugso na ng COVID-19 infections ang lungsod kasunod ng mga ulat ng panibagong kaso.

Aniya, lumobo ang kaso matapos dumagsa ang mga tao sa mga mall, palengke at iba pang pampublikong lugar sa siyudad at pag-uwi ng maraming locally-stranded individuals kasunod ng pagluluwag sa antas ng quarantine.

“We’re now experiencing the second wave yah were now on the second wave nag-flatten na tayo eh,” ani Magalong.

Upang mapigilan ang muling pagdami ng COVID-19 infections sa lungsod, sinabi ng alkalde na ilalagay sa lockdown ang buong lungsod tuwing araw ng linggo.

Mas hihigpitan rin ang pagbabantay sa mga checkpoint upang masegurong nasusunod ang ipinaiiral na health protocols.

Inatasan na rin ni Magalong ang mga ospital sa lungsod na maghanda sa posibleng muling pagdami ng mga pasyenteng magpapa-konsulta.

“This is a result of opening up the economy so we just have to innovate, continue innovation, very aggressive sa contact tracing and then sa testing,” sabi ng alkalde na nagsisilbi rin bilang national contact tracing czar sa gitna ng pandemiya.

“I issued an executive order requiring barangay officials be more vigilant, and the encourage flu-like symptoms to report to the barangay so that they can be PCR-tested,” dagdag pa niya.

Noong Hulyo 27, pumalo na sa 98 ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa lungsod; dalawa sa mga ito ang nasawi, 51 ang gumaling habang nasa 45 naman ang kasalukuyan pang naka-confine sa medical facilities. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Grace Doctolero)

Pampanga to return to ECQ if spike in COVID-19 cases continues, governor warns

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 8, 2020

Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda warned of reverting the province to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) if the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to rise.

“Tumaas po ang mga kaso natin. I have no choice kung hindi ibalik sa GCQ ito o ECQ kung aabot tayo sa worst situation (Cases in our province increased. I have no choice but to revert to GCQ or ECQ if the situation worsens),” he said.

After the province was placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) on June 15, new COVID-19 cases went up by 25. As of July 7, according to the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, there are 166 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Pampanga, with 100 recoveries and 16 deaths.

Only Arayat and Masantol, Pampanga remain COVID-19-free, the Pampanga governor said. He reminds residents to only leave the house if necessary.

“Hindi po sinasabi ng MGCQ na libre kayo na makipagkwentuhan sa ibang lugar (Just because it’s MGCQ, it doesn’t mean you are free to meet up in other places),” he said.

Barangay Capalangan and Sulipan in Apalit are currently under hard lockdown until July 16 due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the area. AAC (with reports from Leslie Huidem)

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