As the country observes Women’s Month, Sen. Cynthia A. Villar recently recognized the women awardees of Soroptimist International of the Americas Philippines Region (SIAPR) during its awarding rites with the theme “Remarkable Soroptimist Women in Service” held at Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
She expressed hope the Soroptimist women will always have momentum and opportunities to serve and advocate for women welfare and empowerment.
“May you always thrive in your worthy goals and programs, and may you always be inspired to serve, do more and work towards the best that has yet to come,” said Villar.
The senator hopes she can encourage the chapters and members of Soroptimist Philippines to embark on urban gardening in their respective communities.
Since the onset of pandemic in 2020, Villar said she has been advocating the planting of vegetables in one’s own backyard, and the establishment of pockets of vegetable and community gardens nationwide.
“I have been giving out vegetable seeds of good quality to households, communities, schools, organizations and local government units nationwide to strengthen the culture of establishing their own respective vegetable gardens,” related Villar.
The chairperson of the Senate agriculture and food committee enticed them to plant vegetables.
“It’s not bad to revive planting vegetables —the veggies in our ‘Bahay kubo’ (song) —in your backyard or community although ‘we are in Metro Manila and other urban areas. With the high costs of basic needs, we can save on our daily expenses if we get vegetables from our own garden.”
Aside from the savings, Villar noted vegetables are also good very good to our health. “We can also help in the country’s food security and sustainability.”
“Further, I believe that urban gardening suits women well. It goes well with the women’s natural duty of being mothers, and nurturers of our respective families and communities,” related Villar.
She also raised the idea that perhaps Soroptimist may explore sending some of the women they help, particularly those in agricultural communities, to the Villar Farm schools to acquire practical skills training in agriculture.
“I know most of you are in urban areas, but let it not be a hindrance for you to engage in agriculture, which also include urban gardening,” she added.
The Villar SIPAG has built four Farm Schools – one in Las Piñas; San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan; Iloilo and Davao City — which give free trainings in all aspects of agriculture.