MANILA, Philippines -- Speaker Prospero Nograles is studying the possibility of filing a bill that would authorize the government to take over privately owned idle lands for food production.
Nograles also called on the departments of agriculture, agrarian reform, and the environment and natural resources to make an inventory of public estates that may be used for agriculture.
?Under the prevailing circumstances, I think we should have legislation that would optimize the use of all agricultural lands,? he said.
?It should be a case of use-it-or-lose-it so that those who own idle agricultural lands would be forced to use their estates for food sufficiency, especially rice, corn, wheat or any agricultural food products,? he added.
Nograles said all properties that could be used for food production, whether owned by the government or private individuals, should be fully utilized because of rising food costs.
?The three government agencies should conduct a thorough audit of all public and private estates which could be tapped to optimize the country?s food production,? he said.
?We should have an inventory of government lands. Even pasture leases of thousands of hectares but without cattle or goats on them should be reviewed and developed for food production,? he said. Norman Bordadora