The scheduled 42-hour cloud seeding operations (CSOs) in Bohol is set start today Monday as part of efforts to ensure that farmers will be able to plant rice in the 86,931 hectares (ha) of lands in the province, known as the rice bowl of Central Visayas, in time for the wet cropping season.
This was stated by Junne Abuejela from Pegasus Air Services, Inc.based in Plaridel, Bulacan, the winning bidder of the P2.3M worth of CSOs allocated by the Provincial Government of Bohol.
Abuejela said that “all systems go” for the CSOs after 700 sacks of vacuum dried salt and the aircraft for operations arrived Sunday at the Bohol Panglao International Airport from Mactan International Airport in Cebu.
He said the salts were being stocked within the vicinity of the airport near the parking areas reserved for the vans or vehicles while the gas has been stocked in Tawala, Panglao as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) barred its storage within airport premises.
Abuejela said the conduct of CSOs is timely because of the presence of seedable cloud that can produce artificial rain.
The PGBH has to push through with the operations to ensure that Boholano farmers can plant rice in their tilled, irrigated and rain-fed rice lands.
Leon Parac, Jr., CSO focal person, said the water from isolated, light to moderate rainfalls are insufficient to be used for land preparation, particularly of rain-fed rice paddies.
Parac bared the personnel from Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) and Philippine Air Force (PAF) are awaiting the go-signal from the contractor when to conduct the operations.
He clarified that the Pegasus Air Services, Inc. could not start to operate without the presence of the BSWM & PAF personnel, and the personnel from Provincial General Services who will inspect the materials and aircraft.
He said that aside from the P2.3M budget from the PGBh, the BSWM through the Department of agriculture Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) 7 has also allocated the amount of P2.5M for CSOs and is ready for implementation. (Atoy Cosap)