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Marcos: PH rice supply enough despite El Niño

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on assured the public that there is enough supply of rice in the country despite the El Niño phenomenon. 

President Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr. on Tuesday assured the public that there is enough supply of rice in the country despite the El Niño phenomenon. 

In an ambush interview, Marcos said this was made possible by the new farming techniques and improved irrigation system that were adopted by the government.

“Well, kung ang pag-uusapan natin ay bigas, sapat naman ang ating supply. Hindi kailangang mag-alala ang tao. Sa katotohanan, ‘yung mga area na may patubig, tumaas pa ‘yung ating naging ani, ‘yung tons per hectare natin,” Marcos said. 

(If we're going to talk about rice, our supply is sufficient. People do not need to worry. In fact, those areas with irrigation have improved the amount of their produce.) 

“Pero siyempre, marami pa. Kagaya dito, siguro mga 50 porsyento lamang ang irrigated at so, ‘yung iba talagang nahihirapan. Dito sa Occidental Mindoro, ang calculation namin, one percent lamang nung mga irrigated lands ang naapektuhan ng El Niño na talagang kailangan ng tulong," he added. 

(But, we still need more, maybe here only 50% have irrigation. In Occidental Mindoro, our calculation is that only 1% of the irrigated lands really need help.) 

The President also guaranteed that his administration is fast tracking the installation of solar pumps in upland non-irrigated areas to boost production. 

Marcos added that the government is building dams and impounding ponds to ensure rich agricultural production. 

The National Irrigation Administration said that among its assistance to El Niño-affected areas in the province are the deployment of three new long-arm backhoes and one wheel-type backhoe to all affected areas, which need immediate canal clearing and desilting works.

Some 1,200 liters of diesel fuel were also distributed to farmers affected by the drought to subsidize the fuel requirement for diesel-powered water pumps in addition to 68 solar, diesel and water-powered pumps installed to irrigate 274 hectares of farmlands. —VAL, GMA Integrated News