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Cloud seeding operations planned for Visayas sugar-cane, Mindanao hydropower areas

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MANILA – The government is holding more cloud seeding operations across the country to cushion the impact of a dry spell.

In a report, Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) director Silvino Tejada said the agency has completed cloud seeding sorties over Angat Dam and surrounding areas between May 16-28.

“This has helped to slowdown the rate of decline of water in the reservoir, from 0.31 meter per day from May 1 to 15, to 0.23 meter per day from May 15 to 28,” Tejada said.

With this, the bureau plans to undertake cloud seeding sorties in the Visayas and Mindanao. Starting September, cloud seeding operations would begin over Lake Lanao, which supplies the Agus and Pulangui hydropower plants, the main source of electricity in Mindanao.

In the Visayas, BSWM also is mapping out sorties in sugarcane-producing areas, particularly in Iloilo and other parts of Western Visayas.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the agency is spending P1.61 billion to respond to the impact of the dry spell. Of that amount, P729.9 million would go to  stocking and distribution of inputs, P340 million for the construction of small-scale irrigation facilities and P199.9 million for crop insurance.

“We are putting in place policy initiatives, water management and conservation measures, as well as modern and innovative farming and fishery technologies to somehow soften the effects of this dry weather,” he said.

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