May 23, 2024

A proposed ordinance that sought to institutionalize urban agriculture was introduced to the city council to support poverty reduction, ecological integrity, and food security.

The measure, authored by Councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr., places emphasis on the importance of urban farming in enhancing green spaces, reducing carbon footprint, and promoting community cooperation.

The proposed ordinance specifies a multi-faceted policy framework, ranging from supporting poverty reduction to enhancing environmental resilience.

It aims to combat urban challenges such as air pollution, food inadequacy, and climate change impacts.

The proposed measure encourages the conversion of open spaces, including those in subdivisions, public schools, and government-owned areas, into urban gardens.

It also highlights the importance of the involvement of homeowners’ associations and community groups in this collective endeavor.

Once approved, an Urban Agricultural Council will be created, with the city mayor serving as chair and the chairperson of the council committee on market, trade and commerce, and agriculture as vice chair.

The Urban Agricultural Council will take charge of planning, supervising, and promoting urban agriculture initiatives.

It will formulate greening plans, supervise farming practices, conduct evaluations, coordinate with government agencies, and lead information campaigns to encourage community involvement. 

It will also support barangays in implementing their own farming programs, contributing to the city’s sustainable development and resilience.

The council will likewise be mandated to conduct educational programs and information campaigns to raise awareness about urban farming techniques, modern agricultural technologies, and environmental stewardship to empower residents with the skills and knowledge needed to engage in urban agriculture effectively.

The ordinance will likewise urge barangays in the city to allocate specific budgets for urban agriculture programs in their Annual Investment Plans to promote community-driven initiatives tailored to local needs and priorities.

The proposed ordinance was been approved on first reading and referred to the committee on market, trade and commerce, and agriculture for review. – Jordan G. Habbiling