February 13, 2023 Monday
BATAC, ILOCOS NORTE, 13 February 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) met the farming community in Brgy. Rayuray, Batac, Ilocos Norte and discussed their observations on environment- and climate-related concerns in the area.
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director (VCED) Robert E.A. Borje and Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera visited the showcase area of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Barangay Rayuray, Batac, Ilocos Norte.
According to PhilRice OIC Director Mary Ann Baradi, drought-resistant crops are tested in Barangay Rayuray in response to the water supply problem affecting agriculture in Ilocos Norte.
In a short walkthrough at the site, the farmers explained how water shortage affected their agricultural productivity. Throughout the years, the community has become heavily reliant on groundwater extraction, which may eventually result in land subsidence.
According to PhilRice, there were 330,749 metric tons of palay produced on the 63,909 hectares of land in the province of Ilocos Norte in 2022.
“Nakadepende sa ulan ang supply ng tubig dito sa’min. Dahil sa pagbabago ng klima, paiba-iba rin ang panahon kung kailan malakas o mahina ang tubig, at dahil dito ay naaapektuhan ang aming mga pananim,” Barangay Captain Norberto Puyot said.
PAGASA’s projection is that Ilocos Norte will have an increase in temperature and rainfall by 2036-2065, which will result in drier dry days and wetter wet days.
“Sa pagbabago ng klima o climate change, hinaharap natin ang problema sa pag init o kawalan ng tubig, kung saan tayo ay mga biktima ng problemang hindi naman natin kasalanan. To our vulnerable communities, the CCC is here and united with you in the fight for climate justice,” said CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera.
In his conversation with the farmers, VCED Borje stressed the importance of partnerships with various sectors to boost funding for agricultural programs toward climate-resilient food systems.
“The CCC has farmers like you in mind. Kaya patuloy nating pinalalawig ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa local at probinsyal na pamahalaan, sa PhilRice, MMSU, maging ang People’s Survival Fund, upang matugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga magsasaka na lubos na naaapektuhan ng nagbabagong klima. Dahil hindi lang po kabuhayan natin ang apektado – ang ating buhay at kinabukasan din ay nakataya,” VCED Borje emphasized.
Some of the initiatives and programs that farmers themselves recognized as being necessary for implementation are:
● Solar-powered irrigation systems
● Rainwater catchment facilities
● Harvest calendar
● Drought-resistant crops
● Post-harvest marketing
● Information dissemination, and knowledge and capacity development
Guided by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr.’s pronouncements on climate justice, the CCC is prioritizing the strengthening of partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders for the benefit of the most vulnerable sectors.
In 2022, it has formally institutionalized the following coordination mechanisms for the LGUs, development partners, civil society organizations and private sector: ACT Local (Accelerating Climate Action and Transformation for Local Communities; ENACT (Empowering Nurtured Alliance for Climate Action and Transformation; WE CAN (Working to Empower Climate Action Network; and CONNECT (Communicating Opportunities to Network, Navigate and Explore Climate Transformation).
The CCC will continue to bolster its cooperation with the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), PhilRice, and the local government of Ilocos Norte to help formulate more appropriate plans of action toward climate-resilient agriculture in the region.
“Makakaasa po kayo na narito ang CCC upang matulungan ang ating mga pamayanan na maging mas matatag sa mga hamon ng nagbabagong klima, upang lumago ang kabuhayan at magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan ang bawat Pilipino,” VCED Borje assured.
The CCC also joined the 34th Regional Symposium on R&D Highlights which took place on 1-3 February 2023 at MMSU Campus.
Part of the event was the Local Planners Forum where the CCC presented the development and enhancement of Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) and access to the People’s Survival Fund (PSF).