The cloud-seeding operations which were set by national agriculture authorities to mitigate the effects of a dry spell that has caused water at major dams to stay at near-critical levels will start on Saturday.
According to Leon Parac of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), seven Philippine Airforce personnel designated to be cloud spotters and the aircraft for the operations are expected to arrive on Friday.
“Ang upat ka Airforce among e-deploy sa tagsa-tagsa ka dam. Cloud spotter sila sa Malinao Dam, Bayongan Dam, Zamora Dam ug Capayas Dam,” said Parac, who serves as cloud-seeding focal person for the OPA.
Parac said that the aircraft’s arrival was confirmed by Rohyle Air Way Charter, which was contracted for the operations that were supposed to start on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, 18,000 kilos of vacuum-dried salt for the 42-hour operations are also ready for use.
The efforts to artificially induce rains in drought-stricken areas particularly over Bohol’s four major dams are funded through a P2.5-million budget from the Department of Agriculture.
Earlier this week, Bohol was placed under a state of calamity due to a drought that caused over P179 million worth of crop damage and water supply shortage for both irrigation and household needs.
The declaration was made through a resolution passed by the Sanggunianag Panlalawigan based on the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) which reported that 38 of Bohol’s 47 municipalities have been affected by the lack of rains.
The PDRRMC which is chaired by Governor Arthur Yap also noted that four of Bohol’s major dams reached its “critical and near critical levels.”
“This figure is expected to worsen,” the SP resolution stated based on the PDRRMC’s report.
OPA officer-in-charge Larry Pamugas, who raised the motion to place the province under calamity status, previously said that rains have started to be experienced across Bohol but these have been sporadic and not enough to provide for the province’s water supply needs.
“Di kaigo sa gikinahilanglan,” said Pamugas. (R. Tutas)