Village chief to workers: Plant Chinese kangkong or lose job

THE employment contract of Barangay Calamba workers might not be renewed if they do not plant the Chinese water spinach (Chinese kangkong) seedlings that were distributed to them.

In an interview with the Kumusta Kap program of SunStar/Superbalita Cebu on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, Calamba, Cebu City barangay captain Victor "Jojo" Quijano warned employees not to report to work next year if they cannot provide photos or proof that they planted the 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 the 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 the kangkong seedlings.

"Una akong gisugdan sa workers, 80 na kabuok akong workers sa barangay. Kinahanglan nga magbaton sila sa ilang panimalay. Naay luna para katamnan ug mga utanon. Kon wala sila ana by next year, wala gyud mo. Picture lang akong gipangayo nga sila dunay tanom," Quijano said.

(First, I started with the 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).

Quijano said an evaluation will also be done to check compliance with the program.

"Sa atong pag distribute ana, naka distribute ko og 5 ka kilo nga liso sa Chinese kangkong. Imagina kon 5 kilos, pila na kaha ka ektarya ang matamnan nimo ana? Nakatawa bitaw ko, ingon ko nga once mag-harvest mo ana, kanang tindera mag-yawyaw. Kay ngano man? Alangan wala namay mopalit sa ilang tangkong," Quijano added.

(During the distribution, I was able to distribute five kilos of seedlings of Chinese kangkong. Imagine if five kilos, how many hectares of land on which these seedlings would grow? I was laughing, I said that once you harvest, the vendors will complain. You know why? No one would buy their kangkong anymore).

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

"Kon imong kwentahon ni, ang Chinese kangkong gikan sa source pa lang, P20 ang kilo dala na gamot. Kon imo nang tang-tangon ang gamot, pila raman ang magamit nimo," Quijano said.

(If you calculate the Chinese kangkong from the source, it's only P20 per kilo including the roots. If you remove the root, how much can you use).

Quijano said he decided to introduce the Chinese kangkong to his subordinates after witnessing that the vegetable 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 willing to grow the Chinese kangkong.

During the Kumusta Kap program, the village chief also mentioned the problem of spaghetti wires in his jurisdiction, especially in the interior portion, wherein the barangay's CCTV camera was one of the casualties even before Typhoon Odette struck.

Quijano said he believed that the wires connected to the CCTV might have been affected while the personnel of telecommunication companies or Visayan Electric were installing internet or electrical connections, respectively.

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

"Mao na nga duna koy instruction sa atong mga tanod after Odette nga ang tanang mga mohilabot sa mga wire sa ilang barangay, gikinahanglan nga mopresentar una og job order, apan kon walay maipakita, dili makapadayon sa ilang trabaho," said Quijano.

(That's why I have instructed our tanods after Odette that all those who interfere with the wires in their barangay are required to present a job order first, but if they could not show it, they cannot continue working).

Quijano is also trying to preserve the century-old cemetery under the San Nicolas De Tolentino Parish in his barangay.

Quijano said it was in this cemetery where the soldiers would gather during the battle of Tres De Abril and where fatalities of the war were buried after.

"Ang akong gikwenta ana nga ma-preserve is ang atubangan ug ang chapel kay ang chapel ana-a dinha gipanglubong ang mga karaan nga kura paroko sa San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish. Ang kanang simbahan sa San Nicolas karaan nana nga simbahan, wala pa ang Guadalupe, wala pa ang Remedios naa nana siya dinha," Quijano said.

(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, the church of San Nicolas is very old as it already existed even before the Guadalupe church and Remedios church were born).

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. (BBT, TPT)