Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) are set to receive skills training on urban agriculture, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said.
TESDA, together with the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) sealed a partnership on Sept. 15 to implement the “Bagong Buhay sa Gulay” project at the NBP in Muntinlupa City.
In a statement, TESDA said the partnership is part of the agency's mandate to "provide skills training to PDLs to uplift their economic status and facilitate reintegration to their respective communities." Under the project, TESDA will conduct training for PDLs who will tend and sustain the vegetable gardens while DA and DAR will provide quality seeds, planting materials, and other inputs.
TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña said while PDLs are under custody, they should not be "deprived of opportunities and should also be entitled to develop their wellbeing by honing their skills and enhancing their potential." He then assured the beneficiaries that TESDA will fully support them until they reintegrate back to society.
“This training will not only teach them about crops planting but they will also be able to help our government’s food security program as they produce their own food,” Lapeña said.
Since he assumed office in 2018, Lapeña has been pushing for the establishment of mini-organic farms and community gardens as growing one’s own food is among the best approach to help the country achieve food security.
The MuntiParLasTaPat (Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Taguig, Pateros) District Training and Assessment Center (MDTAC) will be the training provider of the Urban Farming with Agripreneurship Project for the PDLs.
Also, the Regional Training Center- National Capital Region (RTC-NCR) will conduct a training for the BuCor Employees in Agricultural Crops Production NC II for them to be certified trainers in the future.
Present during the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signing were TESDA (NCR) Regional Director Florencio Sunico Jr., DA Secretary William Dar, DAR MIMAROPA Regional Director Marvin Bernal, and BuCor Assistant Secretary Gabriel Chaclag.