February 3, 2023 @ 1:22 PM 2 months ago

SENATOR Loren Legarda hosted a “Bayong-All-You-Can” event for senators and Senate personnel on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, as a post-birthday celebration. The 250 available slots were filled in a matter of minutes. Those of us who were slow and sluggish could only watch enviously as participants dashed for their preferred vegetable and fruits.

The lucky employees were given five minutes to fill their bayongs, choosing from 2.5 tons of vegetables and fruits, including carrots, broccoli, sayote, leeks, cabbage, corn, potatoes, eggplant, lettuce, chico, tomatoes, guyabano, celery, and bananas procured from farmers in Benguet, Guimaras, Batangas, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Viscaya, and Baguio.

Some of them had to devise a strategy in order to maximize the space in their bayongs.

The event was organized in collaboration with the non-profit organization Rural Rising Philippines, led by the Estrada couple Andy and Ace, which conducted “rescue buys” during the pandemic in areas such as Sta. Catalina in Ilocos Sur and provinces in Cordillera Region after receiving pre-orders from Facebook.

Inspired by the couple’s example, Legarda bought a ton (1,000 kilos) of cauliflower from Rural Rising during the pandemic and distributed it to informal settler families in Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City through a group of mothers who called themselves “Nanay Power.”

She likewise made an earlier effort in her own office by bringing her staff to the Rural Rising headquarters in U.P. Diliman for a box-all-you can, in lieu of a Christmas party.

“These are vegetables from farmers who had a bountiful harvest but could not sell their produce in their area and want to sell them to people elsewhere. We are talking about helping our farmers,” she said during her “Bayong-all-you-can” activity in the Senate on Wednesday.

“As an author of the MSME law, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises law, we support small enterprises. This is my treat for you. I hope we will all be happy, healthy and conscious of the needs of the farmers. Let’s grow our own food, help our farmers and help each other so those who are hungry would be given food,” she told the Senate employees.