Calamba chief to workers: Plant Kangkong or lose job

THE employment contract of workers assigned in Barangay Calamba, Cebu City might not be renewed if they do not plant the Chinese kangkong or water spinach seedlings that were distributed to them.

This was what Barangay Calamba, Cebu City chief Victor “Jojo” Quijano said during SunStar / Superbalita Cebu’s Kumusta Kap program on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.

Quijano warned his employees that they won’t be allowed to report to work next year if they cannot provide photos or proof that they planted kangkong seedlings in their backyard.

Quijano believed that the program, which involves the planting of vegetables and root crops and is being implemented by the national government, would be of great help to their barangay workers in terms of food security.

Quijano said the objective of the program is to help provide food on the table for his workers.

He, however, has left to the discretion of the program beneficiaries if they want to sell their harvest.

The barangay captain said at least 80 barangay employees have received around five kilos of kangkong seedlings.

“First, I started with our workers. There are 80 of them in the barangay and they should find a space where they can plant vegetables. Because if they don’t, they are gone by next year, I just asked for a picture of their plants as proof of compliance,” Quijano said, in Cebuano.

Quijano said they will conduct an evaluation to determine if their workers are complying with his program.

He said that through the program, he wants to ensure that their barangay, not just his workers, become sufficient with food.

Quijano explained that unlike the native water spinach that grows like a creeping vine, the Chinese kangkong grows straight like a sugarcane.

Quijano said he decided to introduce the planting of Chinese kangkong to his subordinates after witnessing that the said vegetable that he planted in his farm grows faster.

He added that after harvesting the Chinese water spinach, he might distribute another kind of seedlings to the beneficiaries.

The barangay is also willing to share seedlings with their constituents who are interested to plant the crop in their backyards.

Spaghetti wires

Quijano also mentioned several problems in his barangay, including the perennial presence of “spaghetti wires” or entangled electric and telecommunications cables.

Quijano said he particularly noticed that more spaghetti wires were present at the barangay’s interior section.

He disclosed that his barangay’s CCTV cameras had bogged down as a result of tampering being conducted by telco and power personnel trying to untangle spaghetti wires.

Quijano said that he had already informed City Councilor Jerry Guardo about the matter.

“That’s why I have instructed our tanods after Typhoon Odette that all those who tamper with the wires in the barangay are required to present a job order first. If they could not show it, they cannot be allowed to continue working,” Quijano added.

Preserving Calamba’s old cemetery

Quijano is also trying to preserve their century-old cemetery, which is under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Nicolas de Tolentino.

Quijano said according to historical accounts, Calamba’s old cemetery was known as a gathering place for those who fought during the Battle of Tres de Abril on April 3, 1898.

Quijano said that aside from being a gathering place, the old Calamba cemetery was were those who died in the revolt were buried after.

“What I am planning to preserve is the front (of the cemetery) and the chapel since this is where the previous parish priests of San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish were buried,” he said.

Quijano said he came up with the plan as he wanted the place to be given attention during the annual commemoration of the Battle of Tres de Abril.

He said the plan was already discussed during his meeting with Mayor Michael Rama. (TPT)