Cebu News

City scholars taking up agriculture dwindling

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The number of city scholars pursuing agriculture programs is dwindling while other farming challenges in the city were brought to discussion during the public hearing on a proposed ordinance granting educational scholarship assistance to qualified Cebu City residents.

The proposed ordinance, authored by Councilor Jun Alcover, chairman of the Committee of Agriculture, is anchored on the necessity and to emphasize the role of farmers in food sustainability.

According to Alcover, in his meetings with the farmers in the city, most of their children are no longer studying courses aligned with agriculture. He added that the farmers are aging but their children are not interested in following their footsteps.

As the ordinance provides a more comprehensive approach and provisions than the existing city ordinance granting scholarships, Alcover said his proposed measure is due to the fact that agricultural courses are not “common and attractive to the new generation.”

During the public hearing yesterday (Wednesday), Cebu City Agriculturist Joelito Baclayon manifested the position of their department saying that it is “fitting” since the city has a vast area for agriculture.

“It’s true nga ato pung mga mag-uuma nagkatigulang na but they were, in fact, with the average of 57 years old and as can be observed nobody, perhaps, following them,” said Baclayon.

He added this is despite their efforts to train them. To Baclayon, this ordinance would be an avenue to attract more students to pursue agriculture-related education.

Baclayon, however, suggested that aside from lifting the agricultural courses, veterinary and food technology courses must be also included in the ordinance.

During the discussion, Alcover emphasized the comprehensive provisions cited in the proposal which include not only tuition fees, but also incentives, accommodation, and transportation assistance to students.

The executive director of the Cebu City Scholarship program, Judy Concepcion Yap, presented the number of scholars in agriculture programs particularly in CTU-Bonbon. According to Yap, out of all their accredited schools, it was only CTU-Bonbon that offered agricultural programs.

Councilor James Anthony Cuenco raises the concern that there were only five students enrolled for the 4th Year during this year’s first semester.

“Nagkuan (himo) me assesment ana, ang mga bata dili na gyud mubalik og skwela tungod kay nakat-on na sila og ginagmay and then ang pagpananom ang ilang gi trabaho nalang,” Yap said.

Councilor Philip Zafra then raises contributing factors such as lack of own property or land and lack of modern farming technology. He added that he came up with provisions in the ordinance he authored and passed entitled Food and Security Ordinance that is yet to be implemented.

According to him, in Section 6, the families of the agricultural scholars shall be given priority to land-use-agreement of city-owned lots for agricultural and fishery purposes.

“Subo lang gyud kay bisan motuyok ta’s kabukiran, naay dako kaayong yuta, pero di sila (farmers) katikad kay wala silay mga gamit,” said Zafra. —/FPL (FREEMAN)

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with