October 2, 2023

The city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing survival urban gardens in the barangays.

The proposal stated it will be a declared policy of the city government to reduce incidents of hunger and malnutrition through sustainable survival gardening at the family level.

It shall also be the city’s policy to aggressively promote ecological wellbeing through the promotion of organic gardening and making healthier foods readily available among residents.

As a social responsibility and to engage the commitment and participation of the different sectors in the practice of urban gardening, the council urged private and government institutions and households to use vacant spaces such as rooftops, patios, building walls, vertical gardens, and vacant lots or backyards for urban or survival gardens or edible landscaping.

To encourage active participation, the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO), the Department of Agriculture, the Barangay Agriculture and Fisheries Council, and partners shall promote existing measures established by farming communities, including indigenous cultural communities, to conserve and protect indigenous knowledge.

Concerned government agencies and the city government shall support several modalities including, but not limited to, urban greenhouse gardening and agriculture container gardens, hydroponics and aqua gardens, vertical gardens, food scaping, and those relating to conservation and propagation, whether household, on-farm, or ex-situ mechanisms.

Support will also be extended to gardeners or farmers who wish to engage in organic agriculture through trainings, production, marketing and branding, and financial management and accounting, among other necessary skills to develop an organic agriculture product.

Under the proposed ordinance, a city-wide annual search for the best organic survival garden shall be conducted under categories such as in-ground gardening, container gardening and other forms that may be developed.

Entries to the search shall be from barangay level contest, where winning entries shall compete in the inter-barangay or district level and final entries will compete in the citywide search.

A fund of P200,000 will be appropriated for the program’s implementation. – PIO release