Abono assails aggie’s brass for No El Nino’s remark

March 11, 2010 at 3:24 am Leave a comment

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY- Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo So disagreed with the pronouncements of the two top government officials that Region 1 was not affected by the El Nino Phenomenon.

So questioned how Department of Agriculture Director Cipriano Santiago and Deputy Director Cris Bautista declare that there is no dry spell that wreaks havoc on the farmlands in Region 1 where there are already 6000 hectares which are parched and cracked, giving unquantifiable misery to the farmers.

In a press conference here recently, Santiago said there was no El Nino in the region that is composed of the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan.

“Region 1 is a type 1 climate. Merong wet and dry. Kung talagang wet, wet talaga, kung dry, dry talaga siya. Experienced namin pag dating starting November up to May ay talagang walang ulan.. Abnormal ang Region 1 sa ulan November to May. So talagang walang ulan sinasabi natin ang natural situation. Effect ng El Nino ngayon because of iyong pagbaba ng water level ng dams. Because we are affected by the Cordillera,” he stressed.

He explained that the climate in the mountainous region of Cordillera is different from the climate in Region 1.

In an earlier interview, Assistant Director Bautista said Region 1 belongs to Type 1 climate, meaning there is a distinct wet and distinct dry season. He said this dry season commences in November up to the end of April and May.

Farmers are expected not to sow during these months because of the lack of rainfall. “That is why if it rains, it is already a bonus for them,” he added.

A senior DA official, who asked anonymity, said the baseless furor on the El Nino in Region 1 is a strategy of the mayors to avail any share they can get from the vaunted P12 billion El Nino funds that Malacanang would be giving to affected local government units.

Santiago said farmers feel the effect of the dry spell because of the lack of rainfall that presently haunts the Cordillera Region.

“I actually discourage cloud seeding sa Region 1. Ito ay hindi makakatulong kasi pag may cloud seeding i-concentrate sa Cordillera. Kasi pag bumagsak ang ulan doon walang pupuntahan ang ulan kundi baba sa atin. Iyon ang totality ng effect ng El Nino,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, So belittled Santiago ’s distribution of 149 water pumps to those areas- where another 100 pumps are expected to be distributed soon.

Each of the pumps is paid by the government and the farmer-beneficiary on a 50-50 basis.

According to DA deputy Director Bautista, a diesel- powered pump costs P60,000 while a gasoline powered pump costs P15,000.

So assailed the miniscule number of pumps that are being distributed, saying this was not enough for five percent of the 6000 hectares affected by El Nino.

He also questioned why government asked the poor beneficiaries to shoulder half of the price of the pump.

Entry filed under: News.

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