Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gordon expresses alarm over parched Isabela farms

03/12/2010 | 10:26 PM

Original Story:

Presidential aspirant Sen. Richard Gordon on Friday expressed alarm on the effects of El Niño in Isabela province, even as he blamed the government's "lack of preparations" in buffering the impact of the drought on the province, especially among the farmers.

Gordon, who was in Isabela province for a two-day sortie, said he was alarmed that vast agricultural lands in the northeastern Luzon province have already dried up due to the drought.

"Alarmed ako dahil tuyong-tuyo ang mga kapalayan (I’m alarmed because of the really parched ricelands)… What is [more] alarming is the utter lack of preparation by the government. This [El Niño] has happened to us before. We should have learned from the lessons of the past," he said.

Gordon further said that the agriculture sector, specifically the farmers, should be given additional attention as they play an important role in the country's food security.

“My first rule is that the farmer has to be protected because they are in charge of the country’s food security. Kaya dapat bigyan mo ng lahat ng gamit yung farmer, gaya ng post-harvest facilities (That’s why you have to provide the farmer with all the facilities he needs, such as post-harvest facilities)," he said

As of March 12, estimates of El Niño’s agricultural damage in Isabela province alone has reached almost P4 billion, according to provincial agriculturist Danilo Tomamao.

Should he win in May, Gordon said he would order the construction of more catch basins to ensure enough water supply for irrigation.

In the meantime, the Bagumbayan standard bearer said the government should provide farmers with temporary jobs to ensure alternative income sources in the midst of El Niño.—JV, GMANews.TV

Original Story:

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