Showing posts with label Larry Pamugas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Larry Pamugas. Show all posts

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Bohol farms dry up due to El Niño


Scene: For the faithful, the presence of the heart relic of St. Camillus de Lellis last week placed inside a glass casing also mean the visit of the saint himself. The relic was brought to the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral last March 8, which was followed by a Mass officiated by Bishop Albert Uy of the Diocese of Tagbilaran. After the Mass, Boholanos who are known for their intense Catholic faith, started lining up to get close to the relic. They took turned in either touching the glass that housed the heart or wiping it with their handkerchief while uttering a short prayer.

Scene: Boy Pernia on the Bohol Poll 2019:  For all the 23 years of conducting surveys HNU poll forgot to include to survey the 2nd dist? First of all they have a pre-survey where questions are carefully crafted to cover all bases;We have been an active participant and supporter of HNU poll enough reason for them not to forget; We were never given the courtesy of an explanation except during the public consultation. They even wrote us a letter informing us of the presentation and they could not even explain the situation to us? This incident has left a black mark on the integrity of HNU poll. They should not prostitute the process.

Farmers reaping the grains and the noise of “bulhot” (manual threshing machines) were usual scenes this month as rice farmers in Bohol who planted early their crops are now reaping their first harvest for 2019.

For the 35 -year-old farmer Ruel Barrete, the golden grains were mature enough to harvest, a sign of good harvest.

 "Maayo nga panahon, naka-una mi og tanum mao wala maapsi sa El Niño," said Barrete who farms near Barangay Buenos Aires in this town. He was able to harvest 17 sacks of rice in his 2,000 sq meter rice paddy last week.

He was happy with the quality of grains because it was bigger and heavier compared to last year’s harvest which dropped to only 9 sacks while the grains were smaller. Barrete, 35, also helped in harvesting a nearby 1-hectare farm with other farmers which would yield to 60 sacks of rice.

The effects of the El Niño phenomenon
affecting Bohol has been draining the Malinao
Dam in Pilar town, Bohol province, with its
water level dropping to a critical spot.
 Large cracks appeared in some parts of waterbeds
of the dam. Photo by Leo Udtohan
Farmers also harvested their palay in Dimiao, Ubay, Carmen, Batuan, Bilar, Pilar and Sierra-Bullones.

“Based on our observation, we have a good harvest this year. We are 90 percent in our harvesting season hitting a rice sufficiency in the province,” said acting provincial agriculturist Larry Pamugas.

Farmers are expected to produce a total average of 200,000 metric tons of palay (paddy rice) which could generate at least 100,000 metric tons of milled rice that can feed about 1.1 million people for one year.

However, not all farmers were fortunate.

Many of the farmers who lost their newly harvested and ready to harvest rice to the dry spell already suffered from the impacts of dry spell in 2016 and 2018.

The rice bowl of Central Visayas has been reeling from the drought brought on by El Niño phenomenon.  Farmers reported that their palay had either wilted or literally burned due the intense heat of the sun.

The lack of water caused the palay of Orcesio Amoy planted in a 8,000-square meter farm lot in Sitio Camanayon, Barangay Buenos in Carmen to wilt. His rice paddies had cracked due to lack of water while the palay had turned yellow as these started to wilt.

 Amoy said he was expecting to get a huge financial lost. Last year, he was not able to recover the P20,000 he invested in farm inputs after suffering from the brunt of a dry spell.

Gerry Quita, a farmer from Sierra-Bullones, said that the intense heat literally burned down some of the stalks while others had wilted. Those that survived did not grow as tall. “It is very hot. I planted late so my palay were burned,” he said.

He relied on rains that didn't come due to the drought. Bohol is known as the rice bowl of the Central Visayas.

Pamugas said the farmers and their crops were insured by the Philippine Crops Insurance System. For palay, the coverage is P30,000 per hectare.

Several ricefields in Bohol have dried up
as palay seedlings have turned yellowish green
due to the dry season made intense by the El Niño
 phenomenon. Photo by Leo Udtohan
Farmers are expected to produce a total average of 200,000 metric tons of palay (paddy rice) which could generate at least 100,000 metric tons of milled rice that can feed about 1.1 million people for one year.

The average daily consumption of Bohol is 9,020 bags a day, according to National Food Authority (NFA) Bohol Manager Maria Fe Evasco.

For NFA, they will buy harvested palay for P 20.70 pesos from farmers’ cooperatives, and P20.40 from individual farmers. NFA targeted to buy 13,840 bags from local farmers for the year.

 “We hope we can buy more,” said Evasco.

The agriculture sector in the province remains to be the major source of employment and livelihood, with 42 per cent of the province’s population working or dependent on agriculture.

The province has a total of 46,587 hectares for rice farming, which is 25 percent of the agricultural land area of the province at 185,276 hectares.

Of the 46, 587 hectares of rice field in Bohol, 24,000 hectares are irrigated through dams, small water catchments, and diversionary canals.

The rest of 23,000 hectares rely on rain.

In 2015 and 2017, Bohol produced 66 percent or 149 percent thousand metric tons of Central Visayas’ rice production and 10 percent of corn production.

A total of 238,728 metric tons in 2017 and 252, 816 metric tons in 2015, according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The production lowered to 161,003 metric tons in 2016 due to a prolong dry spell.

The effects of the El Niño phenomenon were felt in some parts of the country including Bohol province.

The water supply in various irrigation systems - Malinao Dam in Pilar town, Bayongan Dam in San Miguel town, Capayas in Ubay town and Zamora Dam in Talibon town- have also dwindled.

Acting Provincial Agriculturist Larry Pamugas
said the water levels in Bohol dams could last
until May. He said their office would conduct cloud
seeding operations in May to protect possible damage
 to croplands and in preparation for the next cropping season.
Courtesy: GMA News
In Malinao Dam, the water level continues to drop to ”critical” spot. It is now lower than the 152- meter normal water level.

Some parts of waterbeds of Malinao Dam were already exposed, creating island-like grounds or large cracks on the dam.

Some springs and creeks in the province are drying up.

Pamugas said the water levels in these dams could sustain until May.

He said their office would conduct cloud seeding operations in May to protect possible damage to crop lands caused by dry spell and for the preparation for the next cropping season.

The cloud seeding operations have a budget of P2.3 million from the funds of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).

 There is no escaping the fact that the prevailing dry weather is more severe than was probably expected.

The dry season intensified by the El Niño is now felt in Bohol.


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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Bohol farms still drying up due to dry spell

Scene: #HelpNaga. To extend a helping hand to residents of nearby Naga City in Cebu after a horrendous landslide that claimed lives and displaced families, you may give your donations to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Bohol and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Tagbilaran Station at LMP Building, K OF C Drive, Poblacion II, Tagbilaran City. Urgently needed are clothes, mats, blankets and pillows for evacuees. For inquiries, call PIA Bohol: (038) 501-8554/ (038) 412-2292 and PCG-Tagbilaran: 09957212548.

Scene: Some Bohol farmers attended the Saemaul Undong (SMU) lecture on vegetable farming last Thursday, Sept. 20, in Balilihan town. SMU is a celebrated political and social reform initiative introduced by then South Korean President Park Chung-Hee in 1970 to lift his war-torn country out of poverty.

Scene: At least 2,000 farmers from the different parts of the country gathered for the 7th National Rice Technology Forum held in Talibon town, Bohol.

For those who missed last weekend’s news (and why we are moved, if we are moved):

Jade Bautista seeks reelection

What a lovely time (breakfast at Bautista’s residence in Baclayon town) we spent to celebrate Friday.  Of course,  provincial board member Jade Bautista was around, blooming and smiling.

She has retained "The Face That Refreshes", all sweetness and light, the paradigm of things bright and beautiful even her busy schedule as a nurse and lawmaker.

Media friends in attendance were Chito Visarra (dyRD), Bob Galero (dyTR), Ric Obedencio (Bohol News Today/The Freeman), Dave Responte (dyTR), Rey Tutas (dyRD), Allen Doydora (dyRD), Atoy Cosap (dyRD), Helen Castaño (GMA News/Inquirer assistant), and your VRS.

As expected from the inquisitive media people, Friday’s breakfast with Jade was asked not only about her career and business but also about her future political plans.

Chito told Jade about the latest political development in Bohol.  Ric seconded Chito, saying the 2019 elections would be colorful as usual.

Everyone asked, is she or isn’t she? Running in 2019, that is.

Since Jade’ track record is so squeaky clean, politicians and other people are said to have invited her to run as mayor in Bilar town in 2019. But Jade has not even thought about taking that another big leap.

She said she will run again for board member for the third district of Bohol.

“I will stay to serve the people of the third district,” said Jade, the chairperson of the Committee on Health and Public Sanitation.

As for her, Jade wants to hear fellow Boholanos say, “She has served us well” at the end of her term as board member. 

By 2019,  Edgar Chatto will be retiring as governor, having served for three consecutive terms (9 years). But it does not mean he’s really retiring from public service…or from leading a fruitful private life.

Last week in Balilihan town, Gov. Chatto said he will run for Congressman in the first district of Bohol.

“The direction is bringing the voice again of the first district. Of course, mag-agad na sa Ginoo ug sa katawhan,” he said.

Incumbent Jagna Councilor Anthony Aniscal said he is seeking reelection.  The broadcaster turned lawmaker has sponsored not less than 20 legislations at SB Jagna—and counting.

“The people are my inspirations for faithfully doing the job,” he said.

Incidentally, Jagna is celebrating its 387th founding anniversary and fiesta on Sept. 29.  The St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church has its newly-renovated/restored Sanctuario.

Fuertes is Panglao Mayor- DILG

Last Monday, Sept. 17, seven hours after Pedro Fuertes and Leonila Montero – who both claimed being the legitimate mayor of the town – attended the municipality’s flag raising ceremony, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) put to rest the nine-day standoff and recognized Fuertes as the lawful local chief executive of Panglao.

DILG Regional Director Leocado Trovela issued the directive favoring Fuertes last September 14.

DILG Provincial Director Johnjoan Mende and municipal local government operations officer Sofronio Abing, Jr. arrived at 2:30 p.m. Monday at the town hall to give the order.

However, Montero was not at her office when DILG personnel arrived. It was her municipal administrator Alejandro Arbotante who faced the personnel. The order was served at 3:30 p.m.

DILG ends nine-day standoff at the Panglao Municipal Hall as it recognized 
Pedro Fuertes as the town’s rightful mayor on Monday, September 17, 2018.
   /Photo by Leo Udtohan

According to Mende, the directive would end the confusion as to who was the mayor, as well as conclude the impasse and avert any possible violence at the town hall.

“We cannot have two mayors. Mayor Pedro Fuertes is still recognized as mayor,” Mende said.

In the five-page decision, the DILG said Montero’s move was premature.

“Per record and report, this Office was informed that respondent Mayor Montero re-assumed office as Mayor of Panglao, Bohol on Sept. 10, 2018 and continues to discharge her functions. Thus, such re-assumption to office is premature,” the DILG order and directive stated.

“Accordingly, respondent Montero should continue serving the penalty of dismissal with all its accessory penalties imposed in Ombudsman Joint Order dated 19 Jan. 2018 relative to OMB-V -A -15-2084, unless directed otherwise by a competent court,” it added.

“I am still the full-fledged mayor of Panglao,” Fuertes said.

Vice Mayor Briccio Velasco, meanwhile, was ordered to continue his function as vice mayor.

Tension was felt during Monday’s flag raising ceremony at the municipal hall as Fuertes and Montero attended the event.

Both even gave their speeches before the employees.

Montero told employees that her comeback was based on facts.

“The fact is I am the duly reelected mayor of Panglao,” she said. “I have already served my legal predicaments.”

She said the DILG’s decision was based on opinion and a not a valid law.

On the other hand, Fuertes just told employees that he would wait for the DILG order.

“I am just waiting for the DILG for whatever decision,” Fuertes said.

It was only in Panglao town where two mayors, two municipal administrators, and one municipal vice mayor took office in one town hall.

Employees have not received their salary last September 15 because of the confusion.

However, Montero said she cannot be removed as mayor without cause. 

Ricefields are still drying up due to dry spell

Farmer Orcesio Amoy was waiting for the rains to be brought by supertyphoon “Ompong” to finally bring relief to the drought-stricken small farm near the famous Chocolate Hills.

While the storm triggered rains in some parts of the province and devastated farmlands in Northern Luzon, not a single rain dropped in Carmen.

The lack of rain caused his palay planted in a 8,000-square meter farm lot in Sitio Camanayon, Barangay Buenos Aires to wilt.

“We were happy that rain would finally come with Typhoon “Ompong” but the downpour occurred in other towns. What we got here was just a drizzle,” said Amoy, 63.

“The drizzle failed to penetrate the soil,” he added.

Amoy said he had accepted that he would no longer be able to recover the P20,000 he invested in farm inputs this crop season.

His rice paddies had cracked due to lack of water while the palay had turned yellow as these started to wilt.

To meet the needs of his family, Amoy had been selling watermelons which were most resistant to drought.

He was able to harvest watermelons last week from his other piece of land which he sold at P28 per kilo in a makeshift tent along the national highway going to the Chocolate Hills.

Another farmer, Temio Balocoy, 45, said his palay was also wilting but hanging on.

But if not a single rain would drop, he said he would lose his crops like Amoy.

During the previous harvest season in September last year, Balocoy said he got a decent harvest.

But this year, he was expecting to get a huge financial lost.

“The soil in our farm had cracked because of lack of water,” he said.

Ricefields are drying up due to dry spell in Candijay
 town, Bohol, that farmers need rain to save the crops.
In order to save the thousand hectares of standing crops
at the rain-fed areas in the province, acting provincial
agriculturist Larry Pamugas said cloud seeding
operations will be conducted next week.
/Photo by Leo Udtohan
“If only we had a stable irrigation system, we would not have any problem with water supply during the dry spell,” he added.

Bohol is considered the rice bowl of Central Visayas.

In 2016, a state of calamity was declared in the province due to drought.

Farmlands in the towns of Corella, Calape, Loon, San Isidro, Sagbayan and Tubigon had been left unused even if these had been plowed because of the drought.

But agricultural officials said Ompong brought some rains in other parts of the province which brought relief to the parched farmlands.

The provincial agriculturist, however, said that rains was not enough.

“What we need is a long period of soaking rain to fill our dams, replenish all our waterways and moisten the soil,” he said.

Acting provincial agriculturist Larry Pamugas said more than 47,000 hectares of rice land had dried up due to the dry spell.

Of the 47,000 hectares of rice field in Bohol, 24,000 hectares are irrigated through dams, small water catchments, and diversionary canals.

The rest of 23,000 hectares rely on rain.

As of this season, only 800 hectares of rice farmlands had been harvested in the towns of Lila, Bilar and some parts of Batuan in September.

“Rice plants in our rain-fed areas are not just yellowish, they are turning brown, which means there is not enough water,” he said.

Water elevations in Bohol’s four major dams were already near critical levels.

These were Bayongan Dam in San Miguel town, Malinao Dam in Pilar town, Capayas Dam in Ubay town and the Talibon Dam in Talibon town.

The sporadic rains didn’t bring up the water levels of these dams.

Pamugas said the remaining water in dams could not suffice for land preparation in next the cropping season in November.

Unfortunately, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) was anticipating the El Niño phenomenon, or prolonged dry spell, toward the last quarter of 2018.

“If there is no intervention by the provincial government to produce artificial rains, farmers in most rain-fed areas in Bohol could not plant rice in the next cropping by November,” he said.

Pamugas said they planned to hold cloud seeding operations to create artificial rain and send relief to the farmlands.

In the meantime, Boholano farmers continued to wait for rain – either natural or man-made – just to save their crops.

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.