Other local government units (LGUs) in the country can emulate Pasay City’s provision of knowledge on urban farming to promote livelihood and achieve food security and greener city.
An initiative of Pasay City Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano, the three-day seminar-workshop is the first project of Sulong Pasay, a movement composed of private sector and the Pasay city government assisting the LGU in developing long-term economic plans to generate more jobs and revenues during the pandemic.
Initial beneficiaries were 60 Pasay City barangay and city hall officials who were trained to implement urban farm tourism in their localities.
In her message, the Mayor underscored the importance of urban farming for advancing food security particularly in response to the coronavirus pandemic. She reiterated that Sulong Pasay is committed to help particularly the poor severely affected by the pandemic, citing the pro-people and pro-God development thrust of the initiative.
Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., Sulong Pasay lead convenor and president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT), said that while urban farming is not a new concept, integrating it with tourism perks up the practice.
“It is so true what the Bible says: everything has its own proper time. This pandemic has brought us back to nature, the essentials, and the basics. And urban farming, agriculture, and the environment have been major beneficiaries of this evolving development,” he said in his closing remarks at the end of the training program held in Silang, Cavite.
Sulong Pasay is a non-government organization composed of city-based industry leaders, workers, the youth, academe, church, and other civic leaders. The country’s first private sector-initiated Sulong recovery program helps various sectors within the city such as those in business, the academe, the church, the workers, the women, the youth and the urban poor.
Other than Ortiz-Luis, Sulong Pasay proponents also include PCCI Chairperson Alegria Limjoco, PCCI President Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico, PCCI President Emeritus and PHILEXPORT Chairman George Barcelon, former Tourism Secretary and PHILEXPORT Trustee for the tourism sector Dr. Mina Gabor, Philippine Stock Exchange and PCCI Council of Elders Chairman Jose Pardo, PCCI Director Injap Sia and Hotel Owners Association of the Philippines President Arthur Lopez.
Rubiano has lauded the private sector for launching Sulong Pasay as she vowed full support for its initiatives and programs especially those aimed at helping the economy recover from the pandemic.