Now green with corn

22siayan11Residents used to line up during summer at the municipal hall in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte, the poorest town nationwide, begging for food support because of the dry spell. Appalled by the practice, then first-termer mayor, Flora Villarosa announced at the start of her administration in 2010 that the local government would not give food support but seeds and at least 200 carabaos to poor households. By 2015, the land that used to be brown is now covered green with corn and cassava. Photo courtesy of Jules Benitez