It’s rainy season, watch out for floods PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 May 2016 15:04

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

The water district management already warned the public just recently to be on alert for flash floods since the city and barangay rivers have been observed to be overflowing after a few days of rains in the watershed. After several months of “El Nino” phenomenon that made our watershed almost dry, dried farmlands and dying food crops, and our rivers almost to dry, rendering the whole city of scheduled water rationing, the rains have finally come  This time with a new inconvenience, the possibility of a flash flood from our rivers due to excess rainfall that caused our rivers to swel. Many say, however, it is better to have excess water than the lack of it. Recently, the lack of potable water in the city struck the populace with an epidemic. A virus that strikes in the digestive system and has cost many human lives.

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Now that the city of Zamboanga has seemingly more than enough water, is the water district ready to meet the challenge of water distribution in many parts of the city? This was the problem incurred before the “El Nino” phenomenon. We hope with the long dry spell, the construction company of this water pipeline distribution system, starting from the west coast, is now complete and ready to serve the city. Many decades ago, Zamboanga City was not only known for the flowers in homes but was known to have the “best fresh water” in the country. For a short time we lost those good monikers and instead earned a new name as “city of blackout and no water” aside from the more disgusting as “smuggling capital of the country”.

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In a few weeks, Table Talk will disappear from print again. The rains have come and I was informed, enough water is flowing in the brook of Table Talk’s farm, where a small water impounding dam is ready to supply water for a simple irrigation constructed for my rice paddies. Planting rice can be done anytime in an irrigated farm for as long as it is within the normal cycle of planting in a year. Planting rice is best done after a long dry spell because most of the pest and other infestation are killed by the scorching heat of the sun. This is Table Talk’s observation and not the scientific way of farming. Besides the best fertilizer in a farm is the “foot print of the farmer”. no harm in trying it.

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I hope the new government of President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte will push through with his plan to revive the late President Ferdinand Marcos’food program of “Masagana 99”,  a successful rice production program that made the Philippines self sufficient in rice and at one time the Philippines was exporting rice. The government fully supported the farmers, loans on easy terms for farm implements like hand tractors and rice threshers and fertilizers were easily available to farmers. This is one way to stop rice smuggling and the presence of profiteering usurers and third parties, who prey on the helplessness of the farmers. If this will push through in President Duterte’s time, it is one big windfall for all farmers.

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Coconut production and buying price per kilo is declining every season due to non-support by the government. The Coconut Federation (COCOFED) of farmers is seemingly abolished and has abandoned coconut farmers and farms in the country. The coconut farmers’ benefits are abolished, like scholarships and free distribution of coconut fertilizers. The billions of pesos in coconut levy exacted from coconut farmers are missing and nowhere to be found. What farmers are holding now are the useless coconut levy tickets and stockholders certificate from United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB). Copra buyers are manipulating the price since it is far different from the price of copra in the world market. Perhaps the new government of President Duterte will look into the sad plight of coconut farmers and coco land owners.

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Scoop: It is nice to stay in the farm. The air is not polluted and plenty of room for a healthy exercise. Your drinking water comes from a cool flowing spring that does not run dry, healthy foods and vegetables are just around your farm house. You have a peace of mind and have plenty of sleep. All you need is love to enjoy with you the the blessings of God.  Agree or disagree.