Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said that, if elected president, he would sign an executive order, halting the conversion of existing farm lands for other uses.
Domagoso explained this to farmers during a dialogue in Calauan, Laguna on Friday, Nov. 19, as underscored that this “moratorium” on land conversion would give way to the passage of the National Land Use Act.
“While we will certify its [National Land Use Act] passage into law, as a basis for proper zoning procedures, I will impose a moratorium on agricultural land conversion through an executive order to be implemented by the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) and local government units,” said Domagoso.
Furthermore, Domagoso attributed the decline of food security to the rampant conversion of farmlands, something that farmers nationwide have been dealing with for far too long.
“Food security is the number one threat to national security. Pag pinag-uusapan ay pagkain at mga maliliit na magsasaka, mahalaga dito ang lupa. Kung ginawa mong subdivision ang sakahan, our food security is in peril (When discussing food and small farmers, land is important. When you turn farm lands into subdivisions, our food security is in peril),” said Domagoso.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the number of farmlands has seen a gradual decrease from 2017 to 2019 with palay farmers losing around 160,000 hectares and corn farmers losing about 40,000 hectares.
Domagoso also added that should agricultural land conversion be stopped, he would then focus on providing mass housing for the people.