AFTER the whole province of Ilocos Norte was declared under a state of calamity due to the prolonged dry spell earlier this month, the Laoag City government, which has been included in the said declaration, allocated at least P2 million from the P14.5 million calamity fund for this year for the purchase of 53 units for water pumps and hose.
According to Laoag Mayor Michael V. Fariñas, the water pumps and hoses will be distributed to the city’s farming barangays which have been affected by the prolonged dry spell.
Fariñas also clarified that the water pumps and hoses would still be distributed even if torrential rains, brought about by three typhoons, fell on the city shortly after the state of calamity declaration.
The mayor further stated that he is hoping the rains would ease so as not to create another problem for the city’s farmers, that of flooding.
He also added that the distribution of water pumps in the farming barangays has been a continuing project of the current dispensation as this helps farmers find a stable supply of water.
Fariñas explained that the lack of water supply has been a perennial problem for farmers, especially during the summer season.
Meanwhile, city agriculture officer Oscar Recta reported that an estimated 152 hectares of farmlands were affected by the prolonged dry spell as overgrown seedlings have not been transplanted.
About 31 hectares of transplanted crops were also affected as these crops were not able to grow due to lack of water.
Recta also mentioned that the five days of nonstop rains has been beneficial to the farmers to counter the drought that preceded it.
However he stressed that if the rain continue to fall unabated, this would also cause harm to farmers as seedlings might be flooded.
The city government is presently negotiating with the national government for the donation of a 70-hectare lot situated between Barangays Caaoacan and La Paz, where the proposed project is being planned to be established.
Dominic B. dela Cruz