The Sugar Regulatory Administration has allocated P25.9 million for nationwide cloudseeding operations sourced through its Climate Change Project, SRA Administrator Ma. Regina Martin said yesterday.
For Negros and Panay alone, P7.4 million was allotted by the agency, for a total of 60 hours each, or at an estimated cost of P3.7 million, respectively, she said.
However, because of the blessing of rain these days in Negros, probably a few weeks' postponement of the cloudseeding is planned, Martin added.
Focus areas in Luzon are Batangas, Camarines Sur, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Cagayan Valley while those in Mindanao are Davao del Sur, and Cotabato, Martin said.
As of January 25 this year, estimated crop damage to sugarcane-growing areas in Negros island, due to the El Niño or intense heat phenomenon, had reached about P167 million, she added.
Martin had ordered to fast-track compliance with requirements for the conduct of the cloudseeding operations, at the soonest possible time.
SRA is also continuously coordinating with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist of Negros Occidental for the documentary and logistical requirements for the cloudseeding operations, she said.
Earlier, the Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council had passed a resolution endorsing a multi-government agency project proposal on cloudseeding operations.
Technical personnel from the BSWM, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, were also requested by SRA to conduct an assessment and validation of the areas targeted for cloudseeding operations, she added.
Elsewhere in the country, the BSWM has come up with a proposed calendar on cloudseeding operations, using either a civilian aircraft or that from the Philippine Air Force, with projected schedules between February and June this year.*
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