Cloud seeding in Bohol eyed this week

Cloud seeding operations (CSOs) will be conducted this week if a clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippine (CAAP) is secured and the vacuum dried salt, personnel from Philippine Air Force (PAF) and Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) as cloud seeding officers are made available.

Junne Abuejela from Pegasus Air Services, Inc. based in Plaridel, Bulacan said that they already sent a formal letter to CAAP the other week to secure the necessary clearance for them to start the operations.

Pegasus Air Services, Inc. was the winning bidder of the 42 contract for a 42-hour CSO worth P2.3M, a fund allocated and approved late last year by the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh).

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Abuejela said that the vacuum dried salt imported from China and the aviation gas might be available within tthe week as the PGBh through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) is now negotiating with the Bohol Panglao International Airport Management to allow such materials to be stocked at the airport for the smooth implementation of the operations.

Leon Parac, Jr., CSO focal person said that the province had already informed the BSWM that the Notice to Proceed (NTP) for the CSOs has been readied.

Parac explained that the BSWM would coordinate with the PAF in setting their schedules to come to Bohol for the CSOs.

He said that once the materials and aircraft are available, the personnel from the General Services Office (GSO) of the PGBh will do the inspection before the conduct of the operations.

Parac disclosed that aside from the P2.3M budget from the PGBh, the BSWM through the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office (DA-RFO)7 also allocated in the tune of P2.5M and ready for implementation.

He said that most likely after the 42 hrs. CSO contract would complete, the operations to be funded by the BSWM would be followed immediately of which the winning bidder was the Royle Airways based in Dumaguete City.

Earlier, Parac and Engr. Erwin Reños from the BSWM had conducted the joint area assessment of the service areas of the four major dams in the province wherein they found out that the water level conditions are insufficient to be used for planting if there will be no heavy rains to happen.

The plan to conduct the CSOs has been pushed through even though the water elevations of the four dams are above critical levels considering the actual irrigation water are insufficient for planting.

The isolated light to moderate rains occurred last week in the province couldn’t add the water levels of the four dams and much more couldn’t supply water to the rainfed areas.

During the Provincial Coordination Committee on Agri-Fishery (PCCAF) regular meeting last Wednesday held at the Reyna’s the Haven and Gardens, New Calceta St., Cogon, Tagbilaran City, Mary Grace Baay from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) 7 reported the El Niño situation of the Bohol Integrated Irrigation System as of May 28, 2019.

The water elevation of the Malinao Irrigation System which covered the service areas in towns of Pilar, Dagohoy, Alicia, San Miguel, and Ubay: actual – 151.94 meters (ms.), at full-152.00 ms, critical-146.5 ms; Bayongan Dam which is serving San Miguel, Ubay and Trinidad irrigation areas: actual-15.16 ms., at full-52.00ms., critical-41.00ms.; Capayas Dam in Ubay which covered the service areas in the town: actual-33.17 ms., at full-25.92ms., at full-30.00ms., and critical-21.00ms.

Baay said during the dry season no damage on crops was reported in the service areas of Malinao & Talibon Dams; while in the service areas of Bayongan Dam it was reported that out of 3,107 hectares (has.) planted with rice, 9 has. or 0.29% was reported damage to the total planted areas for the dry season.

In the service areas covered by Capayas Dam, all areas were already harvested and reported that 10 has. or 1.22% were damage out of the 819 has. planted with rice.

Baay bared that they are now doing the daily monitoring of irrigated areas, strict implementation of water delivery schedule, and continued implementation of alternate wetting or drying.

Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Larry M. Pamugas said the PGBh through Gov. Edgar M. Chatto wants to ensure that all rice land areas in Bohol could be planted with rice this wet cropping season, thus the cloud seeding operations would be conducted.

The province of Bohol has 86,913.21 has. of rice fields of which 32,919.53 has. are rainfed and 23,993.65 has. are irrigated. (Atoy Cosap)



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