Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Zamboanga Draws Up Plan For Food Security

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The City government is now laying the groundwork for the convening of a “food summit” next month which aims to put a comprehensive plan to ensure food sufficiency amidst the threat on global warming.

Mayor Celso Lobregat met with concerned agencies to discuss about rice production measures, climate change and food summit and other issues affecting the residents as an offshoot of global warming.

“We want to get everybody involved. We will discuss climate change and more importantly what each and every one of us as citizens—individually and collectively can do to delay the impact of global warming and what can be done by each and every individual to address the food security aspect,” Lobregat said.

Lobregat on Monday held a meeting with the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), the City Environment and Natural Resources Officer (OCENR), City Human Resource Management Office (CHRMO), City Legal Office, City Agriculturist Office and the City Administrator’s Office to plan the mechanics for the proposed food summit.

He cited the need to involve the academe, the civil defense, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology-PAG-ASA, National Food Authority and the Department of Agriculture among to ensure a ripple effect of the things to be discussed during the summit.

Lobregat said Zamboanga is an importer of rice and that it produces 30 percent of the rice demand. “We have to look at measures to either increase the production or decrease wastage on the demand side,” he said.

He said the city should help in the global campaign to help control climate change. Zamboanga City, he said, has experienced two storm surges last year that brought devastating effects.

The effects of the series of events that happen worldwide due to climate change put a lot of pressure on food supply, the mayor stressed. “Many countries are experiencing food shortage and there are areas where crops are destroyed,” he said.

Lobregat stressed that while the problem is a worldwide concern, measures to resolve the same should start from the individual community and each and every citizen. The proposed food summit, he said, is tentatively set for May 20. The mayor hoped that the participants to the forum will re-echo the things that will be learned to their individual sectors. (Sheila Covarrubias)

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