BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the Search for the Edible or Home Backyard Garden in the city in recognition of the vital role of urban gardening, particularly in the community, and appropriating funds for the said purpose.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated the annual Search for the Edible or Home Backyard Garden in the city will be done as part of the celebration of the Urban Farmers Month every May.
The ordinance designated the City Agricultural Division of the City Veterinary Office as the implementing agency of the year-round and continuing Search for the Edible Home Backyard Garden in the city, the requirements, criteria, mechanics and guidelines of the search which will be formulated and prepared by the said office in coordination with relevant offices and concerned government agencies.
The ordinance mandated the allocation of the amount of P300,000 as initial funding for prizes and other operational expenses during the search and that the same shall be included in the operational budget of the City Veterinary Office annually upon the request of the head of office.
The ordinance stipulated 70 percent of the earmarked budget will be for prizes while 30 percent will be for operational and capability-building programs for the successful conduct of the search.
Earlier, the local legislative body passed Resolution No. 075, series of 2017 which declared the month of May 2017 and every year thereafter as Urban Farmers Month in the City of Baguio.
Further, Presidential Decree No. 33 dated March 31, 1989 puts agriculture in the forefront and challenged everyone to be active in strengthening the farming and agriculture sector of the city.
Yangot explained the urban gardening contest is a city-wide home garden competition and tour in which Baguio residents are challenged to show off their edible home gardens, and raise their level of creativity on the use of urban spaces.
The ordinance pointed out that a fitting tribute is but proper in due recognition of the remarkable role of urban gardening and green advocates, particularly those who cultivate organic farming.
While Baguio City has been declared as a highly urbanized city, Yangot claimed there are still various areas being used for agricultural purposes.
Based on data obtained from the City |Agriculture Division, there are numerous agricultural practitioners from 24 barangays of the city who actively cultivated their lands since time in memorial so that they may send their children to school, many of which are now professionals working locally and overseas.
In addition to the importance of preserving the remaining environment, he disclosed different classes of gardens, be it rooftop, wall, or backyard, can add usable leisure space to a property that is attractive to people and wildlife.
By Dexter A. See