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El niño stays ‘til mid 2016

| by: Cris Lanie Delos Reyes

The amount of rain at the start of the year is still short of the volume of rain needed to conclude the long dry spell.

The el niño continues to affect the livestock sector, fisher folk and farmers in the province.

In response, the Cebu Provincial Government continues to distribute food packs and fast-growing seeds as an alternative to the seasonal crops.

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale and PB member Gigi Sanchez spearheaded the distribution last February 24  in far-flung areas in the town of Pinamungajan where source of livelihood is solely on farming.

Around 3,000 food packs were given to the el niño-affected residents in barangays Anopog, Camugao, Butong, Rizal, Cabiangon, Buhingtubig, and Tajao.

Most of the farmers in these barangays said their yield is lower than the previous year.

“Akong mga saging nangalawos lang og iyaha. Sauna dili namo mahuman og sanggi ang mga mais sa usa ka adlaw..karon maayo nalang makahipos mi og upat ka sako,” said 81 year old farmer, Marcelo Buro.

The 81-year old farmer was thankful for the food pack from the Capitol, “Salamat kaayo sa gasa nga inyong gihatag kay maayo nalang puli-puli sa mais,” Buro said.

Buro added that they have to double their work to at least produce a good amount of yield. The farmer said that before the dry spell, they could harvest 20 sacks of corn but now they have to settle to 4-5 sacks per harvest.

The same sentiment was shared by 68-year old farmer, Loreto Hubahib whose farm produces cassava, sweet potatoes, eggplant, and corn.

For Buenaventurada Niñal, Rostika Libratar, and Angelina Erdiano even if the food packs can only sustain them for a day or two, they see the sincerity of the people behind the program.

Meanwhile, 75-year old Bartolome Cuizon was also full of gratitude upon receiving the food pack. “Kini’ng akong nadawat karon, himuon nako kini nga handumanan ug kini’ng bag nga gisudlan sa mga delata (canned goods), ibitay ko ni sa amoa nga kada kita nako ani, makahinumdom ko sa mga tawo nga nagpakabana ug naghatag‘ ini,” Cuizon said.