Margot asks where P11 million budget for farm aid went
FARMERS ASK FOR HELP
Water drums, hoses needed for dry spell in upland Cebu city
Where are the water hoses and drums whose purchase was budgeted by the Cebu City Council to help upland farmers cope with the dry season?
This question was raised yesterday by Councilor Margarita Osmeña at the weekly council session after several farmers visited her office asking for supplies and help.
“While we suffer discomfort (with the summer already here), there are others whose livelihood is actually threatened by this situation. Farmers in the city’s mountain barangay are asking for water hoses and plastic barrels and drums so that they can access whatever water is available for their crops,” Osmeña said in a privilege speech.
There are 14,000 to 15,000 farmers in Cebu City’s mountain barangays.
The state weather bureau Pagasa warned of hotter weather in the coming days and weeks, especially as summer has officially started.
Last year, anticipating the dry spell caused by El Niño , the City Council set aside P11 million to buy agriculture inputs charged to the city’s Pagcor funds.
Of the amount, P7.5 million was recommended by the City Agriculture Department (CAD) while P3.7 million was covered by resolutions sponsored by city councilors.
“Despite the P11 million purchase for our mountain barangays, the clamor for water hoses and plastic drums containers never stops. I am sure my colleagues can attest to this,” said Osmeña, who heads the committee on budget and finance.
She said her office wrote to city agriculturist Joelito Baclayon on March 25 asking for a list of the farmer-beneficiaries per barangay and guidelines on the distribution of agricultural inputs, veterinary medicines and equipment.
However, Baclayon hasn’t responded yet, she said.
Sought for comment, Baclayon yesterday said his office is preparing a report to reply to the councilor’s request.
“Dili man malikayan nga naa gihapon mangayo because not all can receive because we have more than 14,000 farmers in the city. Each farmer wants to have their own assistance,” Baclayon said. (It can’t be avoided that some farmers will still ask for help.)
Distribution of P5 million worth of gear is being done through farmers associations, he said.
Not all of the P7 million requested was used for preparation for El Nino and the dry season, he said. Two million pesos was used to respond to the cold spell that hit mountain barangays early last year.
The City Council set an executive session on May 6 to discuss the matter.
They invited the agriculture department, the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and some farmers associations.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.