City told: Prepare P5.3M for dry spell

TWO Cebu City Hall offices have asked for a P5.28-million fund to help farmers prepare for the dry spell.

The bulk of the amount, about P4.786 million, was requested by the City Agriculture Office, while the remaining P500,000 was requested by the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF).

The amounts they requested are also in preparation for a long drought, after reports that El Niño may hit the country in the middle of the year.

In a letter to Mayor Michael Rama, City Agriculturist Joelito Baclayon said the P4,786,400 will be divided among the 31 mountain barangays of the city, with each barangay getting at least P154,400.

The amount, Baclayon said, will be used to help support the irrigation system of the mountain villages and buy equipment that would minimize the effects of the heat, such as hoses and water tanks.

It will also pay for fertilizers and different seeds that can withstand high temperature, he said. These include eggplants, pepper, tomatoes, cucumber and water spinach (kangkong).

Baclayon said there is a need for the City to help the farmers in the upland barangays, because dry spells usually eat into their profits.

As for the P500,000 requested by DVMF, City Veterenarian Dr. Pilar Romero, in a separate letter, said it will be used to buy veterinary medicine and equipment for their daily surveillance and management of livestock in the mountain barangays.

These include dewormers, multivitamins and drenching guns, among many others.

During the City Council’s April 2 regular session, Councilor Dave Tumulak filed a resolution to charge the P5.28 million requested to the City Government’s Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) funds.

For allowing Pagcor to operate in the city, the state-run gaming firm gives at least P4 million to the City every month as its share of the revenues.

The council has referred Tumulak’s resolution to the committee on budget and finance headed by Councilor Margarita Osmeña, for a report and recommendation.

In January this year, the mountain villages had already been affected by an unusually cold weather, which has damaged plants and killed livestock that were valued at P11.5 million.


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