Buying plane not feasible, Lacson says

Local News Official
Local News OfficialSunStar File Photo

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson brushed off the suggestion that the province should buy a plane to conduct a cloud seeding operation to induce rain amid the ongoing drought due to the El Niño phenomenon.

"The problem is not the plane. Our expert said we cannot conduct the cloud seeding," Lacson said on Monday, April 22.

He cited the study conducted by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management which does not recommend the cloudseeding operation in the province because of the lack of seedable clouds and its effect on some mango plantations in San Carlos City and Guimaras province.

Besides, the El Niño phenomenon is not a regular occurrence, the governor added.

He also said there have been several suggestions for the province to buy a plane or a helicopter but he would turn it down because "it's gastos, all the way from its maintenance. I cannot imagine requests for free use of it," Lacson said.

He said the province has the money to rent a plane or a helicopter but not to buy one.

Earlier, Manuel Lamata, president of the United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines (Unifed), made an appeal to the governor, Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, and all board members to declare the province under a state of calamity to enable them to buy a plane for cloud seeding.

"Our sugar industry needs rain now. This will be the same next year and the province should be ready to help the island of negros," Lamata stated in his appeal.

Lacson also reiterated that the province is not yet declaring a state of calamity because it still has funds to help the affected farmers.*


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