Pampanga River servicing irrigation of rice fields in Brgy. San Agustin, Candaba, Pampanga.
International Center for Water Hazard (ICHARM), Tohoku University, Kyoto University and University of the Philippines Los Baños conducted a field visit in Candaba, Pampanga last March 11, 2018 Pampanga to gather initial data on the extent of water-related disasters and community disaster risk-reduction plan. ICHARM Director Toshio Koike, Tohoku University Agriculture Crop Modeling Professor Koki Honma and UPLB Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Water Chair Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez met with barangay officials and several farmers of Brgy. San Agustin and Pangclara to discuss farming practices and disaster occurrence in their locality.
During the months of August to December, flooding occurs in Brgy. San Agustin, according to Brgy. councilor Cristopher Culala. Most of the flood volume came from Nueva Ecija and Aurora and drains to Candaba. On the other hand, during strong typhoons, water overflow from Pampanga River causing head-deep flooding in the area. During threats of flood occurrence, the barangay DRRM plans to deploy mobile patrols to warn residents. Each house also has a small fishing boat which serves as their transportation during flood events in their barangay.
A similar situation is experienced in Brgy. Pangclara wherein water in Candaba swamp reaches 6 feet and knee-deep in the surrounding rice field during rainy season which lasts for the whole duration of the season according to Brgy. Captain Enrique Calma.
Prof. Honma profiled farming practices of the two barangays. Both barangays relies on two livelihoods, which are season dependent. San Agustin cultivates rice during dry season (November to June) and shifts to aquaculture during wet season (July to October). Brgy. Pangclara encounters a similar situation wherein farm lands cultivated for rice and watermelon production are utilized as duck breeding grounds during rainy season as an alternative livelihood. Sabog tuyo, a farming technique wherein seed broadcasting is done during the onset of rainy season succeeded by fallowing, is an emerging adaptation mechanism from intensified dry season practiced by the farmers.
Researchers from ICHARM, Tohoku University and UPLB with Pangclara Brgy. Capt. Enrique Calma.
The field visit served as a jump-off point for the possible collaborative research on development of a hybrid water-related disaster risk assessment technology that will support policy makers in promoting sustainable local economic development amidst the threats and impacts of climate change in the country. (Catherine B. Gigantone)