To enhance the Quezon City government’s campaign to strengthen food security and urban agriculture, Mayor Joy Belmonte has approved an Ordinance exempting idle lands from Idle Land Tax if used for urban farming.

Belmonte approved City Ordinance No. SP-2972 S-2020 introduced by Majority Flood Leader Franz Pumaren and Councilors Victor Ferrer, Eric Medina and Donato “Donny” Matias.

“This Ordinance provides a much-needed push to our urban agriculture advocacy to help boost food security for our citizens, especially during the pandemic,” said Belmonte.

“We thank the Quezon City Council, led by Presiding Officer and Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, Majority Floor Leader Franz Pumaren and the other authors of this measure, for sharing and supporting our vision,” she added.

The Quezon City government recently entered into a partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to promote urban gardening as a means to ensure stability of food supply and help alleviate poverty within the communities.

“As a city with a land area of 161.12 square kilometers, there is an abundance of idle lands that can be put to good and productive use by utilizing them for urban agriculture,” said Pumaren.

“To encourage the use of these idle lands, we deemed it best to give their owners exemption from Idle Land Tax if they decide to devote their property solely for urban gardening,” he added.

The Ordinance has amended Section 11 of the Quezon City Revenue Code of 1993 to extend Idle Land Tax exemption for land owners who will utilize their uncultivated and unimproved property for urban gardening.

Under the Ordinance, land owners will be exempted from Idle Land Tax if they devote the utilization of the entire idle land for urban agriculture for a minimum period of three years.

Also, the activity must yield agricultural produce for personal or public consumption.

The Quezon City Task Force on Food Security, in coordination with the City Assessor’s Office, is tasked to issue a certification to qualified land owners prior to payment of Real Property Tax.