The Philippine Star

Turn aban­doned gov’t land into farms — Pangili­nan

- By LOUISE MAU­REEN SIMEON With Paolo Romero Farm Equipment · Agriculture · Urbanism · Industries · Francis Pangilinan · Irish Department of Agriculture and Food · Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines · Department of Education · Commission on Higher Education · Philippines Department of Education

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. –

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