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PIA Press Release
2010/02/27

Siquijor province prepares farm measures as El Nino strikes back

Siquijor (27 February) -- To counter the threat of El Niņo that is reportedly striking back, Siquijor province is putting up measures to lessen its adverse effects particularly on farming.

According to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) here, the provincial government through the agriculture office has allocated P300,000 pesos from its development fund for the rehabilitation of irrigation canals in Capalasanan, Lazi as conservative measures to maintain water source in the area that is servicing almost 60 hectares farmland.

This after seeing the need for concrete irrigation canals to prevent extreme water losses due to seepage, percolation and conveyance, says the OPA here.

Another 1.3 M irrigation project located in Sitio Candavoc, Cangmunag, San Juan which will also be implemented soon is funded from the Congressional allocation of Congressman Orlando Fua, Sr.

According to Engineers Emigdio Coritico and Jinky Wenceslao, irrigation, infrastructure and postharvest coordinators, the projects will be implemented according to plan. The Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and the OPA are complementing their personnel task force in assessing water resources within the province to assure that conservative measures and utilization of available water is optimized to support the farmers' needs particularly this pronounced drought period.

As noted, past El Nino episodes in the country incurred staggering losses in agriculture, fisheries and environment. Its adverse effect, that includes environmental threats like soil degradation, domestic water supply shortage that cause significant reduction in farm productivity and even health problems.

According to the OPA, drought damage to rice and corn, livestock and fisheries in the past years of El Nino in Siquijor province was remarkable.

"With El Nino's signal now on it's way, Siquijor province is not exempted," the OPA said. Hence, the provincial government is moving its task force and early warning among farming communities to conserve water with the onslaught of El Nino which according to DA Undersecretary Bernie Fondevilla is expected to last longer than usual.

Meanwhile, Bernadith Tabada, head of the Provincial Veterinarian Office (PVO) declares that their office is intensifying measures to counter El Nino. She said that the office has reaching services to the public through ambulatory clinic which offers free vaccinations to livestock animals as well as deworming.

In addition, OPV conducts province wide info drives which will center on the campaign on formulation, preservation and utilization of indigenous feeds.

The activities were made possible through the cooperation of the Provincial Government Office, Municipal Agriculturist Office (MAO), barangays and the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian. (PIA-Siquijor) [top]

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