WHEN it rains, it pours for 4th District Rep. Christopher de Venecia.
De Venecia’s three major bills deemed to have a major impact on the country, particularly Pangasinan, hurdled the legislative mill when these were passed on third reading by the House of Representatives and are now awaiting Senate’s counter bill.
Approved on third reading were House Bill No. 8133, establishing the Edades and Bernal Cultural Museum in Dagupan City in the province of Pangasinan; House Bill No. 8377 declaring the municipality of Manaoag in the province of Pangasinan as a tourist destination, and House Bill No. 8385, promoting Integrated Urban Agriculture in Urban Areas Nationwide to Address Food Security.
The proposed Edades and Bernal Museum will serve as repository of work of arts of two national artists from Dagupan, Victorio Edades, the father of Modern Philippine paintings, and Salvador Bernal, the acknowledged guru in Philippine theatre design.
Edades, born on December 23, 1895 in barrio Bolosan, Dagupan, is best remembered by this generation for introducing modern arts into the Philippine arts scene. He was named National Artist in 1972 while Bernal, from Barangay Pantal, was named National Artist for theatre design by the Philippine Government in 2003. His work included over 300 productions in arts, film and music.
Meanwhile, the town of Manaoag is the seat of the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Rosary of Manaoag, now the acknowledged center of Catholic faith in northern Philippines where thousands of Catholic pilgrims and devotees from across the country converge at the basilica weekly to renew their Christian faith.
De Venecia said the proposed Integrated Urban Agriculture In Urban Areas Nationwide to Address Food Security seeks to inculcate in the minds of the Filipinos that food production can be done in earnest not only in the rural areas but also in the urban areas.
Under the proposed Act, local government units will identify and develop idle government lands and private lands and buildings without however prejudice to the owners of the private lands, buildings and open spaces within their jurisdiction, for partial or full conversion solely to community garden, food forest garden, urban farms and/or vertical farms to support community and food nutrition.
The Department of Agriculture is also mandated under the proposed Act to provide the necessary technical assistance and support services, including the provision of seeds, seeding, gardening tools, access ton loans for government financial institutions and training workshop that will capacitate various stakeholders,
De Venecia said urban agriculture is necessary in view of the alarming projection that in 50 years the Philippines is expected to double its more than 100 million population, meaning there will be more than 100 million more mouths to feed soon. (Leonardo Micua)
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