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by Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol

Chairman, MinDA

"Give a man fish today and he will not be hungry for one day; Teach him how to fish and he will never go hungry for the rest of his life."

This basic philosophy in people empowerment and self reliance taught by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu 600 Years Before Christ is the guiding policy of the Mindanao Development Authority in addressing poverty in Mindanao.

No to dole-outs and projects should improve people's productivity and address poverty.

Recently, MinDA assisted the Local Government of Bislig City in conducting a vegetable derby with the support of a private seed company, US Seedworks.

Held in Sitio Mabog, Barangay San Roque, a former NPA influenced area, local people were taught how to plant common vegetables like eggplants, stringbeans, tomatos and others.

Seedworks provided the seeds while MinDA supported the technology transfer for the program supported by Bislig City Mayor Florencio Garay.

Yesterday, MinDA Area Management Officer Emel Lawansa submitted photos taken during the Farmers Field Day and I noticed one very important component of a successful farming which was absent - water for irrigation.

Ano kaya kung ang cash dole-out sa 4Ps would come in the form of seeds, fertilizer and Solar-Powered Irrigation?

Maybe, the poor would no longer line-up in front of an ATM machine for their monthly allowances but spend their time harvesting crops and vegetables in their irrigated farms.

I am all for helping the poor because that is the basic essence of governance but we should motivate them to stand on their two feet and work rather than lie down under a tree with an open mouth waiting for the fruits to fall.

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