With the impending El Nino, the gov’t will again be too-late-the-hero
It will be a lot drier and hotter this year. Some will enjoy going to the beach, but our less fortunate brother and sister farmers will have a very tough time.
For those with jobs, at least they will still have their salaries to live on even if that would require a lot of creativity in budgeting a small amount for a family to be able to live on it until the next payday.
Those with uncertain earnings like jeepney and taxi drivers and others depending on their daily take for their income, at least they have that. If they are unlucky for a day or even for days, at least there is the chance for them to get lucky and have more than enough after a few days or even a week.
How about ordinary farmers? If they are unlucky in one planting season and lose a big part of their crop or the whole of it, the chance for them to recoup would be in the next cropping season which might be after four to six months. More so that most ordinary farms around are not irrigated, thus dependent on the rain during the rainy months.
This time around, there will less rain. The climate would be hotter and could readily bake farms and those planted on it. Waiting for the rain might render some farmers unable to keep body and soul together.
So what is the government doing about this sad reality? Nothing seems to be afoot. Business as usual in the Department of Agriculture which means just going through the motions of showing that something is being done but not really to make a difference in the lives of farmers.
It was only very recently that the Department of Agriculture started realizing that buying equipment for the farmers and similar assistance do not work. They are always graft ridden as any government program being run by a government agency. So there is now at least some glimmer of hope that that department has finally realized the need for a paradigm shift. Instead, they are now trying to extend very soft loans to farmers so they can buy or spend the money on the equipment or other things that they think will make them better in their farming activities which will mean more produce and higher income.
What about immediate stop gap measures to make farmers survive this year’s El Nino phenomenon? Mark our word. As usual, the government will be too-late-the-hero.**