A livelihood opportunity opens for some residents of Caloocan City as the NLEX Corporation, in partnership with the Urban Farmers of Bel-Air and the City of Caloocan, recently launched the NLEX-SCTEX Community Farm aimed at helping its host communities achieve food security as well as provide them with additional source of income.
NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista, Vice President for Communication and Stakeholder Management Donna F. Marcelo, Brgy. 164 Chairman Alfred Dela Cruz, and Urban Farmers chief Louie Gutierrez spearheaded the kickoff event along with the other leaders and members of the partner community.
The NLEX-SCTEX Community Farm serves as a leisure and learning area which will promote Philippine agriculture and food security. Piloted in a 500-square meter lot in Brgy. 164, Caloocan City, the project intends to train and encourage members of the community to grow vegetables for their local food supply and source of livelihood.
Through workshops and trainings, the community will learn innovative gardening methods to sustain the farm thus secure safe and healthy food. The farm will highlight the NLEX brand as it will be built using old signages and tires, used traffic cones and barriers, and portable booths.
“We always strive to empower and improve the lives of the people in the communities traversed by our expressway network through sustainable programs. With the NLEX-SCTEX Community Farm, we can augment the community’s income and enable them to have better access to fresh and nutritious food, especially now that the pandemic has affected food sufficiency in many communities,” said Bautista, adding that “this farm will serve as the model when we replicate the project in other communities in the future.”
Grateful for selecting their area as the pilot farm, Dela Cruz said “the project will be helpful in providing them alternative food source during emergency situations and in strengthening the ties among the community members.”
Following the launch, a “community plantry” was held wherein residents were provided with free 8,400 seedlings from Farm Ready. A “veggieskwela” training will also be conducted to equip the community with urban farming knowledge and skills.
Since 2005, the tollway company has been implementing corporate social responsibility programs on environment, health, education, and livelihood that make a positive impact and holistically support the well-being of residents in its host communities.
These livelihood/capacity building efforts are also in keeping with the entire Metro Pacific Group’s commitment to help the Philippines meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals particularly UNSDG 2 (Zero Hunger). NLEX Corporation is a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the toll road arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).