Mayor Isko a decent politician; Sumalo land in Bataan not fit for agriculture

June 22, 2021 Itchie G. Cabayan 351 views

Itchie CabayanTHIS early, some politicians are already gearing for the 2022 elections.

While it is understandable to organize alliances and strategies, among others, as these are really needed, I think these are things that are better kept under wraps right now.

The whole world is still reeling from the pandemic and the Philippines seems far from reaching the much-needed herd immunity. Many families and individuals have been displaced by joblessness, poverty and hunger.

Many are still getting infected as the average daily cases still run to thousands and the vaccines are not plenty.

While all these are happening, I cannot fathom how on earth can some politicians manage to be preoccupied with so much politics to advance their interests and ambitions.

It is in this aspect that I admire the decency of Mayor Isko Moreno, who had been dodging questions about his political plans in 2022, his reaction to endorsements and calls for him to run for president, etcetera.

“There is a time for everything and now is not the time for that. We have a pandemic in our hands. I want to focus on the problem at hand,” is what he always says. I couldn’t agree more.

***

The 200 plus-hectare barren land in Barangay Sumalo Hermosa, Bataan is not fit for agriculture and the Supreme Court ruling in 2009 affirming that the whole land should be used for commercial and industrial purposes must be implemented.

According to Federico Perez, a University of the Philippine soil scientist and London School professor, he is standing by his findings that the soil in barangay Sumalo is deficient and low in fertility for crop growing.

Perez is reacting to the recent move of the Department of Agriculture to include the land in its agrarian reform projects.

“Sana matagal nang umasenso ang Sumalo, kung sinunod lang ng Department of Agrarian Reform ang order ng Supreme Court. The people in the DAR should realize that it is the residents who are being deprived of these opportunities to improve their lives,” Perez said.

Perez also said that the land is not economically productive when put into crop production because it requires high amounts of farm inputs.

A soil scientist and expert, Perez maintained the soil in barangay Sumalo has poor quality and is not suitable for crops.

“The farmer will spend more on fertilizer than its harvest because the soil needs a lot of support to grow anything. The economic yield is ultimately the measure of crop productivity,” Perez stated.

His findings are similar to the conclusion reached by soil experts from the Department of Agriculture (DA) which became the basis of the Supreme Court decision in approving the conversion of the land into an industrial area.

“The soil there is stunted, and to restore the soil’s nutrients with the help of expensive farm inputs is a losing venture,” Perez said.

On February 2019, Perez, on the request of the Riverforest Development Corporation, the owner of the land, studied and analyze the soil in Sumalo.

The soil experts’ findings are contrary to the claims of residents in the barangay who want the government to give the land to them.

“The Supreme Court had decided in 2009 that the land is best suited for commercial and residential and that the government should implement the SC ruling if they really want to help the Sumalo residents.

“Farming in the area is not feasible. Sayang lang ang pera ng gobyerno,” Perez said.

He added that opportunities to improve the lives of the residents of Sumalo havealready been lost due to the claims of a few people who merely want to grab the land from the real owners.

The residents in the barangay, he said, are correct in their demand to allow the owners of the land to develop the property to improve their standard of living.

He reiterated that farming in a land that is not arable is nothing but a waste of money both for the farmers and the government.

“Farming is also a business venture, why would you spend 10,000 for fertilizer, if your harvest would only yield half of what you invested,” Perez said.

He also explained that soil of the land has lost its nutrients and that the physical texture is “buhaghag and sandy.”

A recent visit to the area showed, according to him, that even the mango trees no longer bear fruits.

***

Jokjok (from Jennifer Antonio of Batangas City) — Nag-aapply si Pedro bilang isang security guard sa isang kumpanya…..INTERVIEWER:

Ang kailangan namin ay taong laging may suspicious mind, highly alert, insistent personality, strong sense of hearing with a killer instinct. Sa tingin mo ba qualified ka?/ PEDRO: Sa palagay ko po hindi eh. Pwede po ba, ‘yung misis ko na lang ang mag-apply?

***

Direct Hit entertains comments, suggestions or complaints. Please have them emailed to itchiecabayan@yahoo.com or text 0919-0608558.

AUTHOR PROFILE