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Philippine lawmakers pushes urban farming bills

Reps. Estrellita Suansing (1st District, Nueva Ecija), House of Representative Quezon City, Philippines

The bills define urban farming as “any act of farming in a city using land or the space of a building, including the roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation through the use of any growing medium such as pots, plots, and membranes.”

Manilla Standard
Jan 27, 2017

Excerpt:

Suansing said her HB 2818, titled “An Act Promoting Integrated Urban Agricultural Development in All Metropolitan Areas Nationwide to Address Food Security Concerns”, aims to promote self-sufficiency in food production and build climate-resilient communities; institutionalize integrated farming in highly urbanized cities and municipalities nationwide; and lessen the incidence of poverty in highly urbanized areas and promote the importance of healthy nutrition among the people.

The country’s population is continuously growing, hence ensuring food security is an urgent concern, according to Suansing, chairperson of the committee on ecology.

“This bill will remind you of the Green Revolution Program launched by former president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Rep. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, called, ‘Masagana 99’, which aimed to produce 99 sacks of rice per hectare. It was necessary to make the country self-sufficient in terms of rice supply. The bill is also a reminder of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Executive Order No. 776, which aimed to boost backyard food production as part of her administration’s comprehensive livelihood and emergency employment program that includes the Gulayan ng Masa and the Integrated Services for Livelihood Advancement for Subsistent Fisherfolk,” said Suansing.

Rep. Orestes Salon (Party-list, AGRI) said another dimension of urban farming is social in nature, which is community organizing. “This is another aspect of the bill aside from promoting food security, nutrition, environmentally sound culture and technology, and benchmarking the hectarage to determine how much or how many will be produced in an urban area needed for communities, especially the depressed areas,” said Salon.

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