Cosalan says city’s consultation with Agri sector is ‘good governance in action’
Councilor Isabelo ‘Popo’ Cosalan said that the city government’s recent consultation with members of the Summer Capital’s agriculture sector is “good governance in action since one ingredient is the participation of stakeholders.”
He chairs the august body’s committee on trade, market, commerce and agriculture and was one of the resource persons during the activity, August 12, coordinated by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) under Dr. Silardo Bested at the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office building.
“Going back to the history of Baguio, it used to be an agricultural town and part of its identity. So we should go back to our roots and review and help each other lift up Baguio through urban agriculture,” Cosalan said.
As he thanked Mayor Benjamin Magalong who called for the conduct of the consultation, Cosalan added that the city would like to hear the challenges faced by local farmers so that they could be helped in addressing these issues.
The Mayor also expressed the city’s all out support for local farmers and stressed that although only about three percent of the city’s population are involved in agriculture, he said that through innovations and technology, the quantity and quality of their products can dramatically increase.
“If tiny and industrialized Singapore with no farm lands can do it, what more with Baguio where we have more areas for agriculture?” Magalong asked as he disclosed the city government’s aim of turning the City of Pines into Luzon’s center of innovation.
Bested disclosed that the city has about 3,000 registered farmers and around 186 hectares in farmlands.
The Mayor said he believes that suggestions on how to improve the city’s agriculture industry should not emanate from the top but from the grassroots – its urban farmers and those engaged in aquaculture.
“From now on, the city will conduct quarterly consultations with its agricultural stakeholders so that we will know their suggestions, what their needs are and how we can be of help to them,” he stressed.
The next consultation is scheduled sometime this November at the same venue.
CVAO senior agriculturist Marcelina Tabelin also presented her office’s present accomplishments and plans for the next three years.
Present during the consultation were officials from the Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Training Institute, Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. – Gaby B. Keith