cdn mobile

Cebu City agri head open to dialogue on farmer aid plans

Baclayon says he's willing to cooperate in the investigation ordered by Mayor Michael Rama

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 21,2024 - 10:40 AM

Joelito “Joey” Baclayon during his interview in Sugboanon Channel. | Screengrab from Sugboanon Channel

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The head of Cebu City’s Agriculture department (CAD) is open to discussing farmer aid plans with Councilor Pastor “Jun” Alcover, who called for his resignation.

“Kung naa siya’y maayong plano, atong istoryahan then I can also present my own then atong i-come up with a solution,” Joelito “Joey” Baclayon said in an interview on the Sugboanon Channel, City Hall’s media arm, on April 18.

“Kauban ta. Unsa ma’y imung tumong pagtabang sa mga mag-uuma, pareha ra ta. Nganong dili man ta mag-istorya? Let’s sit down,” he further said.

During the council’s regular session on April 4, Alcover delivered a privilege speech advising Baclayon to resign from his position to safeguard the interests of farmers in Cebu City.

Alcover had urged Baclayon to step down during the April 4 council session, alleging a lack of clear plans from CAD to address El Niño concerns.

Alcover further criticized Baclayon’s handling of the issue in previous interviews.

On April 15, Alcover held a press conference, presenting documents from affected farmers, contradicting Baclayon’s claim of no complaints received by CAD. Baclayon reiterated on Sugboanon Channel that his office had not received any reports from farmers.

READ: Alcover calls Baclayon, Cebu City Agriculture chief, a ‘liar’

The city agriculturist denied Alcover’s claim that only seven representatives from each farmers’ association could report to CAD’s office, stating they don’t choose anyone.

Additionally, Baclayon acknowledged he lacks control over the impact of El Niño.

“Ang atong gihatag karun is not somehow enough,” he said, adding “mangayo ko’g sorry kay dili sad nato mahatag ang tanan.”

“Palihug og isuwat para maklaro. Kung naa’y picture mas maayo,” Baclayon added.

The agriculture department reports that 786 out of 10,976 registered farmers in the city have experienced partial crop damage due to El Niño since January.

Despite not fully grasping Alcover’s frustrations, Baclayon remains open to cooperating in the investigation initiated by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

“Yeah, of course. I’m willing. I’m open if there is an investigation pwede gyud way problema nako. I’ve been 30 years in City Hall gikan sa 1993, the mayor knows well unsa akong gibuhat. Di pod siguro na motudlo nako siguro nga ako ang agriculturist kung wala gyud ko’g may’ng gibuhat,” he added.

Rama has ordered the city’s fact-finding team to probe the accusations made by Alcover, the chairman of the committee on agriculture, regarding Baclayon’s alleged negligence.

Earlier, Rama brushed off Alcover’s request for Baclayon’s resignation, stating it was merely “a call,” emphasizing his authority as mayor to determine Baclayon’s fate. | with reports from Pia Piquero


READ MORE: Shortages in data, not just food, plague Philippine agriculture

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

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.

TAGS: CAD, Cebu City, cebu news, City Agriculture Department (CAD), El Niño

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.