MoRProGRes Gardens to expand as nutrition, agri-tourism program

DILG 6 Photo

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The MoRProGRes Gardens, an initiative launched in March 2023, will be relaunched as a full-blown nutrition program and as an agri-tourism program of the provincial government, according to Governor Arthur Defensor Jr.

“We will relaunch this with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and we will launch the leveled-up version, transitioning it into a full-blown nutrition program and developing municipal-level tourist destinations. That is the future of MoRProGRes Gardens,” the governor said during the awarding ceremony at the culmination of the 123rd Semana sang Iloilo celebration.

Defensor made this statement following the initiative’s success in gathering substantial participation from various sectors.

MoRProGRes Gardens is categorized into three areas or levels: local government units (LGU), educational institutions, and private sector (business sector, nongovernmental organization, cooperative, and associations).

The contest was participated in by a total of 252 entries coming with 70 from the LGU category, 31 in the educational institution, and 131 from the private sector.

A brainchild of Defensor, MoRProGRes Gardens aligns with the province’s overarching goals of boosting agricultural productivity, establishing a robust value chain for agricultural goods, and fostering employment opportunities within the agri-tourism sector.

“This is a significant success. We have a vision for this initiative, and we see that our vision is gradually coming to fruition. MoRProGRes Gardening is a program for food security, tourism, and also a climate response,” Defensor added.

Participants were given a nine-month period to develop their gardens before evaluation, which will start in February this year.

Criteria for assessment include the cultivation of high-value crops, integration of ornamental gardening for agri-tourism, and utilization of recycled materials.

Top-performing MoRProGRes Gardens from the different categories were recognized during the Semana sang Iloilo celebration.

To ensure the sustainability of the project, cash incentives are provided for each category, with P100,000 awarded for third place, P150,000 for second place, and P200,000 for first place.

The following are the winners in the different categories:


Elementary level

– First place – school garden of Tagbac Elementary School from Oton

– Second place – Buylog-Buy Local in our Organic Garden of Guimbal Central Elementary School from Guimbal

– Third place – Gulayan sa Don Bee of Don Benjamin Jalandoni Sr. Memorial Elementary School from Zarraga

Secondary level

– First place – AFS Garden of Progress of Agdahon Farm School from Passi City

College level

– First place – Rainbow Ville of Leon Ganzon Polytechnic College from Balasan

– Second place – La Guerta Verde de ISAT U of La Guerta Verde De ISAT U from Leon


Barangay level

– First place – Nueva Union Community Garden from Passi City

– Second place – communal garden of Barangay Agta, Leon

– Third place – Barangay Pagaypay community garden from Passi City

Municipality level

– First place – Stephen Program of Passi Sweet City Garden from Passi City

– Second place – Mao Santa Barbara of Daga Ecological S.W.M Center from Santa Barbara

– Third place – Lagwerta de Oton of LGU Oton


DOT-accredited level

– First place – Ephrathah Farms in Badiangan

– Second place – ATIZ Integrated Farm in Tigbauan

– Gaja Agri Farm from New Lucena

For DOT non-accredited level

– First place – Ganilva JunBee Agri-Farm and Leisure Resort from Concepcion

– Second place – Farmer’s Café from Leganes,

– Third place – Bugana Agri-Farm from Calinog