CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Gamu, Isabela: An Army’s rice terraces under the “Bawat Kawal may Binubungkal” project was established and inaugurated at the Socioeconomic Military Project Army Reservation here on Saturday.
Brig. Gen. Laurence Mina, Philippine Army 5th Infantry (Star) Division (5ID) commander, said the 5ID Rice Terraces project was made possible under the 5ID Greenstar Program, which converts idle land inside the camp into farming areas and rice paddies.
“We have adopted the farm techniques introduced by the Department of Agriculture and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) as partner agencies for peace and socioeconomic development in Cagayan Valley,” Mina said.
Traditional rituals, offerings.
He said the inauguration was made significant with the performance of Cordillera traditional rituals of offering a native pig to Kabuniyan, the creator-skygod to the Cordillerans, accompanied with prayers for a good harvest and abundant yield for the whole season.
Mina led the planting of native rice with the officers and enlisted personnel of the 5ID command.
During the inauguration, he emphasized the importance of agricultural livelihood programs and initiatives especially during these challenging times.
“With the current coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic greatly affecting our daily lives, our star troopers have been supporting higher headquarters’ socioeconomic programs and livelihood initiatives related to food security and self-sufficiency goals of the organization,” Mina said.
“This Covid-19 pandemic has taught us to live simpler and reminded us the importance of agricultural farming and back-to-basic backyard gardening,” Mina said.
He said the 5ID Rice Terraces is one of the highlights of the Hardin ng Lunas and the Bawat Kawal, May Binubungkal projects under the command’s Greenstar Program.
“Idle lands inside the camp converted into agricultural farm projects aim to yield fresh and healthy harvest for the star troopers,” Mina said.