/ 14 January 2023

KABAYAN Party-list Rep. Ron Salo wants to empower the youth by making them learn the importance of agriculture, fisheries, forest and marine conservation and management, among others.

He urged his colleagues to support House Bill 6769 or the proposed Agri-Scouting Act that aims to encourage the youth to take a proactive stance in environment conservation and climate change resiliency, discover the fundamental concepts of proper food nutrition, and be acquainted with modern farming, fisheries, and food production methods.

“It is hoped that this will contribute to our collective aspiration of achieving food self-sufficiency,” Salo said in his explanatory note.

The measure mandates the Department of Education to integrate agri-scouting as a program in the elementary and junior high school under the K to 12 curriculum in all public and private schools in the Philippines.

“The inspiration behind this bill is the success of the boy and girl scouts movement in the Philippines since 1938 whose training program prepares the youth for responsible leadership and nation-building. We aim to inspire and move young people to take leadership roles with a strong emphasis on agriculture, fisheries, forest and marine conservation and management, and ecology-related training programs,” Salo said.

The lawmaker said that the youth can help improve food security if the country puts a premium on the development of the agricultural sector.

“It is quite concerning that low food productivity has now become a national issue. In the 2020 report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Philippines recorded the highest number of food insecure people in Southeast Asia in 2017 to 2019, with 59 million Filipinos suffering from moderate to severe lack of consistent access to food,” Salo said.

“Our youth have so much potential to address long-standing challenges, especially in food security. This is one of our ways to maximize that potential so they can truly contribute to society,” he added.