BACOLOD CITY: The Sanggunian Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) on Wednesday approved the P50 million budget for the purchase of a six-seater Cessna aircraft, to be “mainly used for sustained cloud seeding operations in the province,” Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., chairman of the committee on appropriations, budget, finance ways and means, said. The amount is part of the 2017 General Fund Supplemental Budget No. 2 amounting to about P191 million. Escalante said the plan to have a government-owned aircraft started during the first term of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. but did not materialize for lack of funds. He added the provincial government has been spending at least P10 million every year for cloud seeding operations “which somehow did not bring a significant effect on the agriculture sector.” The aircraft will also be used for monitoring and management of its coastal and upland resources, faster mobility, tourism developments and in emergency cases, as well as provide quick response to cities and municipalities affected by calamities and disasters.
Eugene Y. Adiong