Bancasi, Butuan City – The troops of the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade led by Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine taking cognizance of the COVID19 pandemic crisis utilized their expertise on Backyard Vegetable Gardening this morning, April 6, 2020 at its Headquarters Brgy Bancasi, Butuan City to sustain food sufficiency as the pandemic continues.
Equipped with boots and gloves and armed with bolos, rakes and shovels, the Stingers troopers initiated a backyard vegetable gardening utilizing more than one (1) hectare of the unused portion of the camp to anticipate and combat the scarcity of food amidst the COVID19 crisis.
In partnership with generous individuals and the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga, the 402nd Brigade was provided with vegetable seedlings and started the land preparation for its backyard gardening as one of the efforts to ensure food security of soldiers who are part of the frontliners in support to the DOH and PNP to address the COVID19 Pandemic.
Sergeant Eduardo C Cenabre, one of the Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Brigade stressed his enthusiasm about planting vegetables as part of the individual soldier’s contribution to ease the problem and taking the situation positively.
“While naa kami sa SOMO karon because of the ceasefire og kining atung gisagubang nga COVID19, amo kining gihimo nga magtanum og gulay arun usa ka lakang alang sa pag-antisipar nga anaa tay makuhaan og pagkaon kun mudugay pa kining krisis. Kini pud usa ka pamaagi sa among padayon nga ehersisyo arun andam kami pirmi sa pagresponde kun kami kinahanglanon arun suportahan ang mga ahensya nga gimandoan nga manguna alang sa pagpugong sa pagkuyanap sa COVID19”. Sgt Cenabre said in the vernacular.
Likewise, the 402nd Brigade had already directed the four (4) Battalions under its operational control covering the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, and Dinagat Islands to include parts of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur to include tenant units inside Bancasi Military Reservation (BMR) to conduct backyard vegetable gardening and initiate other contingencies to ensure food security of all troops as part of their operational readiness if called upon to even intensify support to combat the COVID19 Pandemic.
In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade said, “Our troops shall be ready when we are called upon. We must anticipate the worst-case scenario and prepare for whatever possibilities that may arise. Our mindset is to become ready physically and mentally. This endeavor, the vegetable gardening, is part of our contingencies to promote preparedness and intensify situational awareness to our troops”.
“Traditionally armed with rifles and deadly weapons, now we fortified ourselves with gardening equipment to combat not the CPP-NPA-NDF but ensure food sustainability and security. Though we have deployed a number of our troops, most of us are still on standby alert. We are taking this opportunity and time to prepare and plan. We become experts not only on warfighting as our core purpose but also in ensuring food security thus this vegetable gardening initiative”, Brigadier General Licudine added.