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People’s Farm: Church’s Response to the Challenges of the Pandemic

The People’s Farm is a concrete response of the local church to the challenge of Pope Francis to cultivate the land. In Barangay San Agustin Canaman, local farmers assemble regularly to cultivate the farm which is one of the pilot communities of Tabang Bikol Movement for resilience and sustainable community based food and Agribased industry among landless farming families. It is almost an hectare of fertile land shared by the Archdiocese of Caceres under Archbishop Tirona and in partnership with DA Region 5, Mariners Colleges, Local GOvernment of Canaman. The People’s farm is being run by the People’s Organization of Disaster Survivors or PODIS and Ilaw ng Kababaihan..

Archbishop Tirona with PODIS member on the way to the venue of Pagheras program for distribution of Vegetable Seeds and pili seedlings for essential oils..on the occasion of World Food Day Oct 16 2020 during the Pandemic

Pope Francis’ revolutionary new encyclical, Laudato Si, calls for a “broad cultural revolution” to confront the environmental crisis. Near the beginning of “Laudato Si,” the pope states that focus on the poor is one the central themes of the encyclical, and he provides many baneful examples of the effects of climate change, whose “worse impacts” are felt by those living in the developing countries.

One of the greatest contributions of “Laudato Si” is that it offers what theologians call a “systematic” approach to an issue. First, he links all of us to creation: “We are part of nature, included in it, and thus in constant interaction with it” (No. 139). But our decisions, particularly about production and consumption, have an inevitable effect on the environment.

Indeed, an effective way of overcoming the Covid19 pandemic by working together and helping each other overcome the crisis. The People’s Farm is a model for every community, where develop community bonding and also earn financially. In the world of “Laudato Si” there is no room for selfishness or indifference. One cannot care for the rest of nature “if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings”.

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