Bacolod: Negros Mayors urgently call for cloud seeding

(Photo courtesy of TVDS)

The request for the immediate conduct of cloud seeding in Negros Occidental continues to snowball, as members of the Negros Association of Chief Executives called on the Department of Agriculture to do it as soon as possible, in order to promptly and adequately address the massive and extensive drought caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

A resolution approved by the Negros ACE during its special meeting recently, which was presided by Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, said “this abnormal phenomenon has severely depleted our water resource, has devastated in huge measure our agricultural communities due to substantial damage and losses in their crops, has brought unmitigated distresses to our farmers and their families and has disastrously affected the economy of the province, resulting in the alarming increase of number of cities and municipalities in Negros Occidental which have been placed in a state of calamity.”

As of last week, the drought has destroyed P535.6 million in crops and livestock in the province.

“The urgency of the situation demands immediate action to prevent further deterioration in our agriculture, safeguard the livelihood of our farmers, and ensure food security for the people of Negros Occidental,” Negros ACE said in the resolution they approved.

A price freeze on basic commodities is currently being implemented by the Department of Trade and Industry in Kabankalan City, Valladolid, and San Enrique, which have been placed under state of calamity due to the effects of drought.

Provincial Agriculturist Dina Genzola recently said the DA and Bureau of Water and Soil Management (BSWM) is now monitoring the availability of seedable clouds in Western Visayas.

BSWM had earlier ruled out the conduct of cloud seeding operations due to lack of seedable clouds. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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