In response to the lingering El Niño condition, the Cebu Provincial Government, through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) distributed around 1,500 food packs and fast-growing seeds to farmers, fishermen and animal raisers in eight barangays of Alcoy.
Provincial Agriculturist Roldan Saragena and Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Office Head Baltz Tribunalo headed the distribution.
The distribution on September 10 was for Barangays Atabay, Daan-Lungsod, Guiwang, Nug-as, Pasol, Poblacion, Pugalo, and San Agustin.
Farming in valleys, mountains and highlands is the source of livelihood in Alcoy since it is mainly an agricultural town with barangays situated in the mountainous area while the rest of the communities rely on fishing, backyard farming, animal raising, ecotourism, and small proprietorship.
Elizabeth Bañares, social welfare officer of Alcoy who was also present, assisted the distribution.
For the distribution, the Capitol added 2,600 packs of school supplies for the elementary pupils in the different elementary schools of Alcoy. Each pack consists of five notebooks, three pencils and two inkpens.
“Nangamatay gyud akong mga tinanom nga saging ug mais. Nakabawii na unta human mabanlas sa bagyong Queenie apan nangamatay man sad tungod sa huwaw (My bananas and corn withered. I thought my starting to recover after typhoon Queenie but eventually my crops died due to drought),” shared Leona Gonzales, a 55-year-old farmer from Barangay Pasol, Alcoy.
Valentina Quibido, also a farmer, shared that one of her goats and few chickens died due to the very hot weather.
“Nadakpan gyud sa sip-on akong usa ka kanding ug mga manok kay unsaon nga init kaayo nya mukalit man lang og taligsik (My goat and chickens contracted illness due to the hot weather and sudden rains),” said Quibido.
Juaninta Pillo, 71, said that their harvest was just enough for the consumption of her family. “Daghan unta ko’g pananom sama sa alugbati, talong, tangkong, batong, sibuyas, kamunggay, ug saging unya unsaon nga mangalarag man (I’m supposed to have large harvest of alugbati, eggplant, tangkong, batong, onions, kamunggay and bananas but many of my crops died),” Pillo added.
“Sauna nga mutoltol pa ang ulan, makapamaligya mi bisan ginagmay sa among mga silingan pero karon dili na kay sakto man lang namo (Before, when rains come regularly during the cold season, we can sell to neighbors but now, our harvest is just enough for the family),” shared Pillo.
Agapita Antig, also a farmer, said that the very hot weather damaged their crops.
“Nangamatay lang og kalit akong mga saging ug mga mais. Naguol gyud mi’g maayo sa akong bana kay mao lang baya na amo panginabuhian kay wala man mi mga anak (My bananas and corn suddenly died. My husband and I are worried because farming is our source of income and we don’t have children),” the teary-eyed Antig said.
The affected farmers were thankful for the food packs and seeds that they have received. They said that the food packs will help them extend their budget for a few days.