Cebu News

City farmers with complaints urged to go to mayor Rama

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Farmers who feel neglected by the Cebu City government, especially as the El Niño phenomenon worsens, are urged to see Mayor Mike Rama in his office.

This came after the City Council called on the removal of City Agriculturist Joey Baclayon for his alleged failure to address the concerns of the farmers.

In a privilege speech during the council’s regular session on April 4, City Councilor Jun Alcover advised Baclayon to step down from his post to “save the fate of farmers and Rama’s leadership.”

But Rama said he is not quick to judge and will keep Baclayon, although the latter was told to answer allegations that Alcover raised against him.

The mayor said, aside from him, the other department heads do not agree with Alcover’s call for Baclayon’s resignation.

“I even consulted the 27 department heads. Unsa man mo? Dissatisfied ba mo ni Joey Baclayon because I can remove him? Unanimously, they said no. So I retained him but it came with a warning,” Mayor Rama said through his regular program over the city’s Sugboanon Channel earlier.

Still, Rama said farmers should visit his office and report to him directly their concerns.

“Abli na ang opisina sa mayor, adto-a ko didto,” Rama said.

Baclayon, on the other hand, told Alcover to substantiate his claims and reveal the farmers who reported to him of CAD’s failure.

“Kinsa man na mag-uumaha nga iyang gipang-ingon og gipaminaw? Mag-uuma pud nato nga dili pud tinood pud nga mag-uuma?” Baclayon said, through the City’s News team.

Baclayon also questioned Alcover’s allegations that his office has done nothing to help farmers as his office has not received a complaint or concern from the city’s 10,970 registered farmers.

“Asa man ang tinuod nga damages kung naa man ganiy damage o wala na-address nga problema sa mag-uuma, diba wala?” Baclayon added.

According to Baclayon, CAD has prepared the city’s farmers even before the state weather bureau warned of the start of the El Nino.

“Kaning problema sa El Niño karun, dili ra karun ra ni, kung dili kapila nata maka agi og El Niño. In fact, summer na gani apil ilabi na kung taas taas ang init. Ang paghatag og ayuda sa mga mag-uuma, wala ni’y season. El Niño man gane, la Niña pa gane or summer, sige nani siya,” Baclayon said.

Baclayon added that the city’s farmers have also stopped planting and had opted to cultivate their land until the dry season and the El Niño ends.

CAD accordingly have already organized the farmers into three groups so that the city can address their concerns. They have also conducted caravans to educate and prepare the farmers for the El Niño, and assist in the farmers’ registration with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. to help insure their crops and livestock.

A “food security loan program” for the registered farmers to assist them in times of drought is also in place and the city has coordinated with the National Irrigation Administration to help farmers with their irrigation problems and provide water hoses, drums and tanks to affected farmers to help save water, among others, Baclayon said. — (FREEMAN)

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