Squatters choke rice paddies in Bulacan


BOCAUE, Bulacan: As informal settlers from Metro Manila are again being relocated in Bulacan, farmer leaders in this town are wondering if the informal settlers that have occupied a long stretch of the irrigation canal, can once and for all be relocated so as not to impede the flow of irrigation water to their farmland.

An estimated 250 hectares of once productive irrigated rice land are slowly becoming abandoned lands because of lack of irrigation water—house structures of the informal settlers have prevented the water from flowing to the farmland.

In 2011 farmer leaders from this town formally sent a letter request to President Benigno Aquino 3rd through the Presidential Management Staff for a solution to their irrigation water supply problem.

The farmers’ letter-request was given to the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) when President Aquino visited the Philippine National Police/Armed Forces of the Philippines housing project for its ceremonial groundbreaking in barangay Batia in March 2011.

The letter-request was dated March 23, 2011 and signed by Manolito Diaz, chairman of the Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council of Bocaue; Alberto Mendoza Jr., municipal agriculture officer of Bocaue; and Agapito Salonga, committee chairman on agriculture of the Sangguniang Bayan ng Bocaue.


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