By Liza Soriano
Photo courtesy by The Korea Times
MANILA — Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito’s Senate Bill No. 395 or the “Barangay Food Security Bill” has gathered enviable support from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
During the Senate Local Government Committee hearing chaired by Ejercito on Thursday, these agencies expressed their “full support” for the proposed measure.
“For the proposed bill, we are a hundred percent pabor po. We are supporting this bill kasi ito po ay isa sa mga kulang din na legislation na dapat i-push,” said Bien Saint Garcia of the DA’s Legislative Liaison Office.
Garcia added that the bill will strengthen the department’s recent initiatives to promote urban farming.
Rovin James Canja, the official in charge of the DepEd Youth Formation Division, said that the Gulayan sa Paaralan Program of his division can be incorporated into the implementation of the measure.
Ejercito urged the DepEd to convert vacant property near public schools to farming and aid pupils in growing an appreciation for agriculture.
“In this modern age, sa basic education, our children have to be exposed to farming, to planting. Kasi dati noong panahon natin, meron pa nun. Ngayon, ang alam na lang ng mga bata, panay computer, panay Farmville. ‘Yon nalang ata experience nila sa farming,” the lawmaker said.
The Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines, Philippine Councilors’ League, and Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas also backed Ejercito’s proposed measure.
Senate Bill No. 395 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.