AROUND 90 hectares of silted farm lands in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija province have been de-silted, and some have been planted with crops with the help of a payloader from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). The payloader has been clearing debris and mud rising up to one foot high, rehabilitating dikes to irrigate farm lands and rehabilitating farm-to-market roads in barangays in Bongabon since January this year. Almost 90 farmland owners and around 1,500 farm laborers and their families have already benefitted from the program in which the Red Cross payloader was used to desilt farm lands by clearing debris and mud overruns to help irrigate farmlands in the area. The Red Cross and the local government unit of Bongabon entered into a partnership early this year to help farmers in the municipality in their rehabilitation projects, particularly in desilting the silted farm lands in the municipality. The lending of the payloader in Bongabon is part of PRC’s rehabilitation program to help disaster affected communities recover from the effects of disasters. Every time heavy rains occur in the Central Luzon, it takes three days before flooding subsides, and it takes even longer than that when strong typhoons and heavy flooding occur. Heavy rainfall causes soil erosion, which overruns farmlands with mud and destroys agricultural lands.