Senate bill promotes barangay food security
A bill promoting food security programs at the barangay level has gained support from different government agencies, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
This, after the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) endorsed Senate Bill 395 or the Barangay Food Security Bill filed by Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito.
“For the proposed bill, we are 100 percent in favor. We are supporting this bill kasi ito po ay isa sa mga kulang din na legislation na dapat i-push (because this is one of the needed legislations that should be pushed),” said Bien Saint Garcia of the DA’s Legislative Liaison Office during the Senate local government committee hearing on Thursday.
Garcia said Ejercito’s bill will strengthen the DA’s initiatives to promote urban farming.
DepEd Youth Formation Division officer-in-charge Rovin James Canja said the DepEd’s “Gulayan sa Paaralan Program” can be integrated into the implementation of the measure once it becomes a law.
Ejercito said devoting idle lands in public schools to farming would help students develop an appreciation for agriculture.
“In this modern age, as basic education, our children have to be exposed to farming and planting. Kasi dati noong panahon natin, meron pa nun. Ngayon, ang alam na lang ng mga bata, panay computer, panay Farmville. ‘Yon na lang ata experience nila sa farming (We experience it during our time but today, children are more familiar with computer especially Farmville. That is their experience in farming),” Ejercito said.
Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines, Philippine Councilors’ League, and Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas also backed Ejercito’s proposed measure.
The bill also aims to mandate local government units to identify idle lands, public parks, public school grounds, and idle private lands that are suitable for growing vegetable crops.
For areas where such lands are unavailable, the bill proposes the construction infrastructure for vertical gardening and hydroponic systems.
The DA will be required to provide the seeds and tools for the implementation of the program.
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