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Cebu City to provide rice, water supply to farmers affected by El Niño

17 April 2024

EBU CITY, Philippines – The Committee on Agriculture in Cebu City plans to provide rice and water supply assistance to the farmers in the mountainous barangays affected by the El Niño.

The City reported that at least 500 farmers are affected by the current condition of El Niño.

City Councilor Jun Alcover, the chairman of the said committee, announced on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, that to be able to help the lives of the farmers affected by the drought, the city must provide them with the necessities, particularly the most crucial ones, which are rice and water.

He added that if this initiative were to be implemented, they would assist until the rainy season arrives.

However, Alcover said that the implementation of this initiative would now fall under the purview of the executive department. He said that they would propose the idea and advocate for its implementation.

Meanwhile, Alcover disclosed that there are no budgetary constraints if the plan to provide assistance is implemented.

“Dili ‘ta problema sa budget kay dako kaayo ‘ta’g budget sa calamity fund,” Alcover said. (Budget is not a problem because we have a huge budget for calamity fund.)

Last April 4, City Mayor Michael Rama confirmed the allocation of P96.94 million in calamity funds. These funds will be entrusted to the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO), which will be responsible for determining their utilization.

The councilor, however, noted that if the issue had been addressed last year, it could have been mitigated by now.

“Pero wala nata’y mahimo kay naa naman na,” he said. (But we can’t do anything anymore since the problem is already there.)

Despite the internal disputes the committee currently facing, Alcover expressed the importance of prioritizing the welfare of the farmers, who are in dire need of attention as the drought season worsens.

Previously, Alcover called for the resignation of Joelito Baclayon, the head of the City Agriculture Department, in a bid to salvage the welfare of the farmers in Cebu City.

He criticized Baclayon and CAD for their lack of clear plans in addressing the issues caused by El Niño.

However, recently, the mayor has expressed support for Baclayon and has endorsed him to retain his position despite the calls for resignation.

Source : msn