GROWQC: Kasama Ka sa Pag Unlad sa Pagkain, Kabuhayan, at Kalusugan, a pioneering initiative of the Quezon City – Food Security Task Force (QC-FSTF) made it to the finalist circle for the Galing Pook Awards of 2021.
Launched in 1993, the awards recognize the innovative practices by local government units (LGUs) that are aimed at improving the quality of life for their constituents. LGU finalists go through rigorous evaluations and screening processes based on positive results and impact, the promotion of people’s participation and empowerment, innovation, transferability and sustainability, as well as efficiency of program service delivery.
Upon declaration of the hard lockdowns in 2020, LGUs needed to provide relief through food and cash to residents as fast they could mobilize — which immediately had an effect on the city’s resources and stockpile. Quezon City, through Mayor Joy Belmonte, aimed to become more self-reliant by establishing urban gardens and farms with GROWQC. “We now have 166 sites in different areas across the city that serve as a source of nutrition and comfort and mental relief for many of our QCitizens,” Belmonte shared recently in a forum with the United Nations.
“Food security is central, but I don’t think any city has a grassroots food security action plan laid out – which is why I am grateful to the QC- FSTF for doing their part and making sure that we were able to extend relief across the city to those who need it,” Belmonte continued. “I am looking forward to presenting what GROWQC has cultivated across the city, and the positive ripple effect that ensuring food security has had on the lives of our underprivileged.”
Programs that win the awards become models of good government promoted for adoption in other communities, and possibly may even extend to other countries as the Galing Pook Foundation is part of the Global Public Innovations Network, a network of ten public policy awards programs from around the world which enables the pooling and dissemination of experiences and knowledge about innovations in public service delivery, public action, and governance. This thereby affirms the community where they started, and emphasizes the LGUs commitment to good governance. The awarding ceremony will be held in October, marking the 30th year since the enactment of the Local Government Code.