Sunday, February 28, 2016

PGCot starts cloud seeding operations

By Jimmy Sta. Cruz
PGO Media Center

AMAS, Kidapawan City (Feb. 18) – The Provincial Government of Cotabato, through the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPAG) and Provincial Governor-s Office-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Division (PGO-DRRMD) has started the cloud seeding operations on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2016 as an key initiative to mitigate the negative effects of the heavy drought brought to El Niño phenomenon.
Central Mindanao Airport at M'lang,
Cotabato Province
The cloud seeding kicked-off at Central Mindanao Airport.t (formerly M’lang Rural Airport), Barangay Tawan-Tawan, M’lang with the personnel from Dept. of Agriculture 12 Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA12-BSWM) as partners in the operation which is scheduled for 60 days.
Provincial Agriculturist Engr. Eliseo M. Mangliwan informed the cloud seeding operations is significant because it will help to increase the level of water in irrigations and other water ways that supply water to rice fields and other crops.
“We aim to enhance the water level of irrigations so as to improve and sustain water supply to farm lands which is essential to crops and animals” said Engr. Mangliwan.
Dept. of Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Abdullah Ali, LGU M’lang Municipal and Barangay Tawan-Tawan officials also witnessed the kick-off ceremony.
The drought has affected some 27,558 hectares of farm lands and damaged of more than P200 to crops and plants in different municipalities apart from the rat infestations in some areas.
Central Mindanao Airport at M'lang, 
Cotabato Province
The drought brought heavy damage in some municipalities including Alamada, Kabacan, Matalam, Makilala, Tulunan and M’lang. A mild to moderate rain occurred in in Alamada after the cloud seeding kicked off in the morning.
Gov Emmylou “Lala” J. Taliño-Mendoza has allotted P3.4M for the cloud seeding operations from its calamity fund. The Province of Cotabato was declared under the state of calamity last Jan. 14, 2016 in order to hasten the assistance given to affected farmers which includes initiatives such as the cloud seeding operations, financial and technical assistance among others.
The provincial government has also allotted an additional P700, 000 from the calamity fund as counterpart to the cloud seeding operations of DA12 which has started last month. This is an initiative to help the department lengthen its cloud seeding operations, according to the OPAG.
Leolito Siase, Area Coordinator of DA-12 BSWM who supervised the kick-off underscored the importance of the cloud seeding during the interview conducted by the “Aksyon Serbisyong Totoo” radio program of the Provincial Government of Cotabato.
“The artificial rain which will be produced by cloud seeding is necessary to increase water level especially in irrigations within the highlands which will be benefited by the affected farmers”, said Siase.

He gave details on the procedure done by DA12-BSWM during the kick-off which include three initial sorties in targeted areas. In each sortie, the plane owned by Inter-Island Airlines, Inc. flew carrying at least 15 sacks of rice weighing 50 kilos each.
Siase pointed out that cloud seeding could only be done to “seedable” clouds or thick clouds and the duration of the spraying of salt is from 30 minutes to one hour.
Meanwhile, Gov. Taliño-Mendoza appealed to her constituents to continue supporting the initiatives and measures being implemented by the provincial government to combat the ill effects of El Niño and lessen its damage to the farmers.
The governor has mandated the OPAG, PGO-DRRMD along with other offices at the Provincial Capitol including OPVET, PSWDO, Pop Division and IPHO to continue their programs in the villages and provide assistance especially those who are heavily affected by El Niño phenomenon. (JIMMY STA. CRUZ with reports from ROVILLE ANN SOTTO/Photo by RAS-PGO Media Center)

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