Beng seeks nat’l gov’t intervention on El Niño aid to farmers PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 14:07

By JASMINE MOHAMMADSALI

Mayor Beng Climaco is urging national government to immediately initiate its emergency responses for El Niño, particularly farmers affected by the continuing dry spell amid restrictions brought about by the election ban.

In her regular press briefing Monday, Climaco said both the local and national government need to act quickly to provide much needed assistance to farmers whose crops have failed due to the drought and water shortage.

“The City Government would like to ask national government, the Department of Agriculture, to roll out the El Niño assistance services to the local government units and to go directly to the farmers,” she said. The city government is restricted from distributing assistance, such as rice, directly to El Niño-stricken farmers, due to the election ban. An exemption has to be sought before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

For the part of the local government, Climaco detailed that the City, through the Office of City Agriculturist (OCA), has mobilized emergency responses which include drilling rig operations in Culianan, Mercedes, and Talabaan to find underground water sources for field irrigation, and the provision of water pumps to affected farmers.

Meanwhile, the Cash for Work program facilitated by the OCA and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 3,000 affected households officially started yesterday, where participating individuals will receive P210 daily in exchange for work that will include desiltation of rivers, irrigation canals, and irrigation dams

The City has likewise coordinated with the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) to ensure continued water supply in the City as an added response to the El Niño.

The chief executive expressed her hope for immediate national intervention, utilizing available funds to provide assistance to drought-stricken farmers and farmlands. — Jasmine Mohammadsali