Bacolod: Capitol earmarks P15M for dry spell; Palaro security assured

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The provincial government of Negros Occidental has started its preparations for the possible impact of the El Niño phenomenon in the province, as it allocated P15 million to mitigate its effects on Negrense farmers.

State weather bureau PAGASA forecasted that the long dry spell will start at the end of this year and may last until 2024.

Instead of digging wells, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said they will use surface water.

We will utilize new technology to maximize the water resource, Lacson said.

He added that the El Niño program of the provincial government will focus on land areas that are irrigated.

Let’s maximize wherever there is a water source, Lacson said, as he called on Negrenses to “minimize water wastage.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Lacson assured organizers of the 2024 Palarong Pambansa of adequate security for athletes participating in the nationwide annual sporting event, should it be held in Negros Occidental.

Lacson said the security concerns were raised by former Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, a member of the Palarong Pambansa board, during his presentation for the Negros Occidental bid to host the event next year.

He told the Palaro board that armed skirmishes between government forces and New People’s Army rebels in the past several months took place about 80 kilometers from Bacolod City.

The encounters took place because government forces are very aggressive in its End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) campaign, Lacson said.

“ELCAC will not stop because we are making a bid for the Palarong Pambansa,” he stressed.

Lacson said “we assured them that the Philippine Army and National Police will secure the athletes.”

Negros Occidental is competing with Antique and Cebu City for the hosting of the 2024 Palarong Pambansa.

The result of the bidding will be announced on August 5 by Vice President Sara Duterte, the concurrent Education Secretary, during the closing ceremonies of 2023 Palarong Pambansa to be held in Marikina, Lacson said.

During his presentation on July 14 at DepEd central office in Pasig, Lacson vowed to make it an “extraordinary experience for everyone” if Negros Occidental will be chosen to host the Palarong Pambansa 2024.

As part of the preparations of the province for hosting the sports event, the Panaad sa Negros sports stadium has been undergoing renovations since 2019, with a budget of P150 million.

Lacson said Cebu City and Antique were also confident to be chosen as the host of the next year sports events. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)

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