The Holy Cross of Davao College has adopted the pro-environment methods of organic and alternative farming in an effort to support Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, which emphasizes the promotion of environmental sustainability and care.

Farm Property In-Charge Joel Aligaen assured the institution’s land properties use organic fertilizers as their agricultural approach.

“Naay mandato ang atong mahal na Santo Papa na amumahon ang kinaiyahan so organic farming is one of the answers to preserve our environment (The Pope has a mandate to take care of the environment, so organic farming is one of the answers to preserve the environment),” Aligaen said.

Laudato Si, he explained, is Pope Francis’ encyclical outlining how humanity should respect the planet. 

Currently, HCDC has its farms in Camudmud, Island Garden City of Samal and Catalunan in Davao City.

“Ang atoang Catalunan is designed na siya for demo farming, mura siyag learning hub. Pwede ka moadto didtoa, wala siya’y entrance fee or whatever (The farm in Catalunan is designed for demo farming, like a learning hub. You can go there, it has no entrance fee),” he stressed.

He said chickens and goats are also raised in both farms.

According to Aligaen, the farms can still produce food even without the use of pesticides. 

“Ang insecticide mao man gud na ang nagahatag [ug] residuals nga nagadaot sa atong environment (Insecticides release residuals that harm the environment),” he explained.

Aligaen added that they use various plant-based materials such as mango peelings as fertilizers.

“Make your soil rich. The soil will make your plant richer,” Aligaen emphasized.

Aligaen said that it is not easy to handle organic farming, however he is committed to taking care of the environment. Moreover, the farm is now at 50% in the process of conversion to organic farming.

“This is the only Earth na maka-survive ta, so atoa gyung panalipdan or preserbahon (This is the only Earth that we can survive on, so we must protect and preserve it), ” he stressed.

Among other pro-environment initiatives that HCDC has launched last year is the use of solar energy and the promotion of upcycling and composting.

Aligaen also said that they hope to produce food that is healthier for both the consumers and the environment, at the same time, conserving the environment for the current and future generations.