Government agencies are pooling resources to support farmers who cannot plant rice this dry season as Pantabangan Dam has not reached the targeted water elevation.
Records from the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS) showed Pantabangan Dam recorded only 212 meters as highest elevation against the 217-meter target of the agency by the end of the rainy season.
With this development, Rosalinda Bote, UPRIIS department manager, said on Thursday that UPRIIS had to exclude some 6,000 hectares of its extension areas in the outskirt portions of Nueva Ecija and Tarlac, particularly Anao town from its programmed areas this dry season.
Under its program, UPRIIS will provide a guaranteed supply of irrigation water to 128,014.53 hectares of rice field in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Bulacan.
Bote assured, however, that farmers in affected areas would not be left without government support.
“Para ‘dun sa hindi mapapatubigan, hiningi namin ang assistance ng Department of Agriculture (For those areas that could not be irrigated, we asked the assistance of the Department of Agriculture),” she said.
The DA, she said, provides seeds for high-value crops. Moreover, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation and Land Bank of the Philippines would also extend assistance as the need arises.
Meanwhile, the National Water Resources Board reportedly offered to conduct a cloud seeding operation over Pantabangan Dam. (PNA)