Showing posts with label Saemaul Undong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saemaul Undong. Show all posts

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.

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