The Philippine Star
Turn abandoned gov’t land into farms — Pangilinan
The government is being urged to grow food in idle or abandoned state-owned lots and buildings as parts of efforts to reduce urban poverty and ensure food security.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan has filed Senate Bill 257 or the Urban Agriculture and Vertical Farming Act of 2019 mandating national and local governments to use idle or abandoned government lots and buildings, including land in state universities and colleges, for growing crops, raising livestock, and producing food using methods in urban agriculture and vertical farming.
“The bill will solve four problems including urban poverty, food security, community building and urban environment management. Our cities will be cleaner, with fresher air, and more neighborly relations in the community,” Pangilinan said.
The bill also states that the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Science and Technology must support and launch research for state-of-the-art technologies on urban agriculture and vertical farming.
Aside from granting incentives to constituents who actively participate in urban farming, the bill says local government units need to formulate policy on the practice, particularly on the use of unused spaces and idle lands.
The Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education shall also include urban agriculture and vertical farming in the curriculum of secondary and tertiary education in private and public schools.
Appropriations for the bill’s implementation shall be incorporated in the annual budgets of the DA, DOST, DepEd and CHEd.
The Urban Agriculture and Vertical Farming Act of 2019 is one of Pangilinan’s legislations on food security and sustainability. –