Rains experienced in some parts of Negros Occidental was brought about by the cloud seeding operation conducted by the Capitol on Wednesday in Silay City, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) confirmed Friday.

OPA chief Igmedio Tabianan said that so far, two flying hours have already been conducted, and 40 hours more will be done until the rainy season starts in May.

"Areas with usual seedable clouds are in the northern part or in the mountainous area of the province," he said.

Rains were experienced Thursday evening in some areas in Bacolod City, Bago City, Silay City, Cadiz City, and Manapla town.

The cloud seeding operation has a budget of P4 million, of which P2.8 million is the counterpart fund of the province, and the P1.2 million is funded by the Department of Agriculture.

In Negros Occidental, dry spell from December last year up to early this month has already damaged to P18 million worth of crops. Damage to animals was pegged at around P10 million.

The Bago River Irrigation System has also started to dry up.

Engineer Rita Suarez of the Negros Occidental Irrigation Management Office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) had earlier said they have minimal water supply to provide for the rice farms in the cities of Bago and Bacolod, and Murcia town.

Earlier this month, Malacañang said the government has intensified its preparation to combat the effects of the El Niño phenomenon to ensure the stability of food production.

“The government continues to intensify the preparation to fight the effects of the El Niño in the country,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

Coloma said different government agencies led by the DA have already acted to extend necessary assistance to the farmers by giving out drought- resistant "palay" seeds.

He added that the DA and the NIA have also been coordinating for an orderly management of irrigation systems amid threat of expected lower water supplies in the various dams and other sources of irrigation.

“The government is ready to implement other mitigation actions such as cloud seeding operations, if necessary, especially in the areas to be affected heavily by the drought,” Coloma said.