The Taal volcano eruption in 2020 has inflicted significant damage to livelihood and displaced families in Batangas. To help the communities get back on their feet, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of the Aboitiz group, partnered with the Batangas Provincial Cooperative Livelihood and Enterprise Development Office (PCLEDO), AgriCarePH and Jewelmer to create an agri-livelihood recovery project and provide backyard gardening assistance to be managed by officers and members of Luntian Farmers of San Sebastian, Mataasnakahoy.
The project includes provision of farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, farm tools, capacity building training on farm management, business management, basic accounting, and farming 101 which covers technical skills enhancement of farming.
“We want to see the communities rise from the aftermath of these disasters because we share in the local government’s desire for the families to build back better. We thank our local partners from the LGUs and our individual donors who came together to extend valuable assistance,” Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth L. Marasigan said.
Aboitiz Foundation set-up an online campaign through its crowdfunding platform ‘KinderbyAboitiz’ to help these families. With the help of individual donations as well as the kind generosity of partners such as Jewelmer and their advocacy bracelet proceeds, the Foundation was able to provide an agri-livelihood program in Mataasnakahoy, Batangas.
(L -R) Aboitiz Foundation Enterprise Development Manager Geronimo Torres and AgriCarePH’s Boysie Sabino during the harvest day in Batangas. The project is expected to yield 2,300 kilos of vegetables and will benefit 42 farmers and their families.
“Ang agrikultura po talaga ang backbone ng ekonomiya ng ating bansa, kayo ang pinakamahalagang sektor sa ating bansa. Ini-encourage din po natin ang ating mga kabataan na pasukin ang pagsasaka dahil sa nagbibigay ito ng trabaho sa ating mga mamamayan. Sa ating pong mga farmers maraming salamat po sa inyong pagtitiyaga. Kayo po ang bandera ng ating bayan dahil kayo po ang simbolo ng kasipagan at kasaganahan. Maraming maraming salamat po sa ating mga partners, sa Aboitiz at Provincial Government of Batangas (Agriculture is really the backbone of our country’s economy and the most important sector in our country. We also encourage our youth to engage in farming because it provides employment to people. To our farmers, thank you very much for your perseverance. You are the epitome of diligence and prosperity. Thank you very much also to our partners, to Aboitiz and the Provincial Government of Batangas),” Mataasnakahoy Mayor Janet Magpantay Ilagan said.
During the harvest day and ceremonial transplanting, Luntian Farmers president Elena Landicho shared that the group started with practically nothing and shouldered their own meals and expenses during the training. However, they are grateful that they can apply the valuable lessons learned.
“Maraming salamat po sa Aboitiz Foundation, AgriCarePH, Jewelmer, LGU at sa Luntian Farmers. Ang gulayan sa tahanan ay isang pangunahin na pwede natin pagkakitaan sana po wag tayong magsawa, wag tayo magsawa sa ating naumpisahan, wag natin bitawan ang ating nasimulan. Ito po ay para sa atin kaya lubos-lubos po ang ating pasasalamat.” (Thank you very much to Aboitiz Foundation, AgriCarePH, Jewelmer, the LGU, and Luntian Farmers. Home gardening is a main source of income for us, especially for our families. I hope we don’t let go of what we’ve started. This is for us that’s why we are extremely grateful).” Landicho added.