Urban gardening flourishes, ensures food security in Las Pinas

Deputy Speaker and Las Pinas Rep. Camille Villar today said urban gardening is a viable means to promote a sustainable livelihood and an essential source of healthy food for the city’s dwellers.

“We continue to empower our citizens through urban farming as we are actively promoting this as an alternative and additional source of livelihood especially for those affected by the pandemic. Not only do they have extra income but they also help ensure food security as they have an immediate solution to possible food shortages due to crisis,” Villar said.

The lady lawmaker recently spoke about the importance of urban farming in an online forum during the celebration of International Women’s Day. She said she salutes Filipino women for leading their way toward becoming agrichampions and helping promote food security.

According to Villar, produce from urban gardens make their way to local communities.

“Hindi lang natin sila tinuturuang maging self-sufficient kundi pinapaalalahanan din natin ang importansya ng recycling, composting at paggamit ng kitchen wastes bilang organic fertilizers sa kanilang mga tanim,” Villar added.

Urban gardening projects were established in Las Pinas in 2013 as part of the annual food festival showcasing the works of barangays, homeowners associations and schools in terms of farming and planting skills, landscaping, and design. The project has also evolved into income generation and source of fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious food.

During the pandemic, Villar distributed seeds and organic fertilizers to help Las Pinas residents establish their own backyard farms.

As one of the authors of House Bill No. 8385 or the proposed Integrated Urban Agriculture Act, Villar is advocating for urban farming to help families produce their own food.

Under the proposal, idle or abandoned lands, buildings, and open spaces will be converted into urban gardens. It has been approved on the third and final reading by the House last month.