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Organic farming advocate from Badian, Cebu emerges as 2019 Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya

An organic farming advocate family in southwest Cebu emerged as this year’s Regional Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VII (DSWD-7) announced the family of Francisco and Marilou Elardo from Brgy. Taytay, Badian as the winner in the 2019 regional tilt.

Francisco and Marilou Elardo happily pose together with their two children Reese and Christian in their home in Badian, Cebu.

Francisco’s inclination to farming started after he attended a seminar on organic farming in 2010.

Nakat-unan nako sa seminar nga dili kinahanglan mogamit og spray nga adunay mga kemikals (I learned from the seminar that it is not necessary to spray the plants with chemicals),” Francisco said matter-of-factly.

Francisco immediately applied what he learned from the seminar and fortunately he was right on his decision to pursue organic farming. Together with his wife Marilou, and their two children, Reese and Christian, he planted a variety of vegetables like alugbati, eggplant, sweet potato, string beans, pechay, patola and malunggay.

He also grew fruit bearing trees like guyabano, papaya, tambis, guava, coconut and avocado.

In 2013, he made his backyard garden as a demonstration farm because many people have visited his backyard garden for them to know about organic farming. In fact, many high school and college students visit his demonstration farm to learn more and see an actual organic farm.

Miski kapoy, malipay gihapon ko mag-demo sa mga estudyante kay ganahan man sad ko nga mapa-ambit sa lain akong nahibaw-an kabahin sa organic farming (Even though I am tired, I am happy to demonstrate to the students because I love to share what I have learned about organic farming),” he said.

If there are visitors, Francisco would discuss the natural farming system like indigenous microorganism, fermented plant juice and fermented fruit juice.

They also have a small fish pond in their backyard garden.

Sa panahon nga wala pay ani, kining mga tilapia maoy among sud-anon ug dili man pud mi magkalisud palit og bugas kay naa naman rice subsidy gikan sa Pantawid (During lean season, these tilapias serve as our viand and we do not worry about rice since we already have the rice subsidy from Pantawid),” he added.

Francisco admitted that he did not expect to win the contest.

Miskin walay contest ug unsa pa na diha, maninguha gihapon kami isip ginikanan nga makahatag kami maayong kaugmaon sa among mga anak ug makatabang pud sa uban pinaagi sa pagpananom (Even if there is no contest or whatsoever, we still need to strive as parents so that we can provide a good future for our children and also to help others through farming),” he said.

The Elardo family will receive a cash prize and a plaque of recognition during the DSWD-7’s Panaghiusa Festival to be held later this year.

They will also represent region 7 during the National Pantawid Pamilya Family Day on September 28-30, 2019 in Metro Manila.

The family of Nicolas and Elbe Bohol of Brgy. Poblacion, Mabinay, Negros Oriental placed second.

The families of Angel and Julita Batac of Brgy. San Isidro, Balilihan, Bohol and Dante and Ria Taroc of Brgy. Liloan, Maria, Siquijor garnered the third and fourth place, respectively.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households primarily of children aged 18 and below. It is implemented by the DSWD together with other government agencies to include the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Health (DoH).

It provides cash grants to compliant household beneficiaries with health grant worth Php 500 and educational grants worth Php 300 and Php 500.00 each to the children studying in elementary and high school, respectively. The beneficiaries also receive a rice subsidy in the form of cash amounting to Php 600.00. ###

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