P2.2M aid recommended for upland farmers

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Saturday, January 25, 2014


THE Cebu City Agriculture Department (CAD) has recommended P2.2 million worth of seedlings, fertilizers and vitamins for upland farmers whose crops were damaged by the cold weather.

Meanwhile, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he supports the call to declare a portion of Barangay Gaas in Balamban as a “no habitation zone.”

More than 260 families had to evacuated when a landslide occurred in the upland village.

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Cebu City Agriculturist Joelito Baclayon said the calamity fund can be used to buy 9,175 packs of vegetable seedlings, 720 cans of ampalaya, okra, Chinese cabbage and carrots, as well as 210 kilograms of sweet corn, string beans and Chinese kangkong.

“This remedial measure is a way for farmers to cope with the economic losses brought about by the unfavorable weather condition,” read Baclayon's letter to Councilor Dave Tumulak.

Animals

Baclayon said the mountain barangays in Cebu City have been experiencing unusually low temperatures in the past two weeks.

The situation caused the death of 21 farm animals in Barangays Sudlon I, Sudlon II, Tabunan and Pung-ol Sibugay, according to a report by Dr. Ma. Antonia Zamora, chief of the animal health division of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF).

CAD earlier reported that the unusual weather caused the death of 36 animals.

Tumulak, along with Councilors Phillip Zafra and Alvin Arcilla, drafted a resolution declaring 17 mountain barangays under a state of calamity.

Tumulak said that declaring a state of calamity is a “proactive measure.”

“We based it on proper consultation, data gathering and actual facts. The concerned agencies affirmed that the weather is unusual,” Tumulak explained to Sun.Star Cebu.

Funds

Mayor Michael Rama said a state of preparedness would be a more appropriate measure.

The declaration of a state of calamity would streamline the process of releasing funds for relief assistance and other activities.

Tumulak, after visiting at least four mountain barangays, said the declaration is necessary to address problems that may arise, considering that the upland barangays are the city’s source of vegetables and flowers.

He said the situation may spike prices of vegetables.

Barangays placed under a state of calamity were Adlaon, Bonbon, Budlaan, Buot, Cambinocot, Guba, Lusaran, Malubog, Paril, Pung-ol Sibugay, Sinsin, Sirao, Sudlon I, Sudlon II, Tabunan, Tagba-o and Taptap.

Vitamins

Baclayon proposed that P264,000 worth of vitamins and minerals be purchased like vitamin A,D, E and B, as well as calcium and electrolyte supplements.

Baclayon proposed a total of 12,180 kilos of seven types of fertilizers. He also recommended that seedlings of eggplants, different types of pepper, tomatoes, cucumber and leafy vegetables be distributed to affected farmers.

According to CAD’s Jan. 22 report, the cold weather damaged plants like sweet corn, eggplant, ampalaya, tomato, mango, banana and cutflower.

It said damaged plans were valued at P11.5 million.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau 7 declared some areas in Barangay Gaas, including Sitio Proper, as “no habitation zones.”

During the general assembly of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines (LMP) Cebu Chapter, Davide said there is a need to relocate all residents in Sitio Proper, Barangay Gaas because of the risk of landslides.

But he said the decision would be up to Balamban Mayor Ace Binghay.

Davide said Binghay told him that the number of evacuees in Gaas increased.

The evacuees have been transferred from the barangay's national high school to a nearby covered court.

LMP Cebu Chapter president and Tuburan Mayor Aljun Diamante said the league is discussing what kind of assistance will be extended to Balamban.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 25, 2014.

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