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Monday, April 15, 2024

Bacolod: Drought damage to WV agriculture placed at P689.9M

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Farmers in Western Visayas have incurred agricultural losses worth P689.9 million due to the onslaught of the drought caused by the El Niño, as of March 6, according to reports of the regional Office of the Civil Defense.

Regional spokesperson Cindy Ferrer disclosed recently that the OCD will decide with other government agencies to determine if Western Visayas will be placed under a state of calamity.

Ferrer said that as of March 6, Iloilo was the hardest hit province of Western Visayas, with damage reported at P486 million, followed by Antique at P115 million.

On the other hand, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Negros Occidental earlier reported damage worth P77.7 million to farmlands in the province, excluding the damage to sugarcane plantations.

Negros Occidental has been categorized as under drought conditions, with more than 60 percent reduction in rainfall for three consecutive months.

While there is no critically low level of water yet in Negros Occidental, Ferrer said that Himamaylan City reported having water shortages in six barangays in January, where interventions were immediately initiated by the concerned local government unit, by prepositioning water tanks for the delivery of potable water to affected residents.

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is leaving it to the drought affected LGUs to decide whether it is necessary to declare a state of calamity in their areas, noting that no crops will be spared from the El Niño drought, especially if the farm is totally rain fed.

In her visit to Escalante City and Calatrava in Negros Occidental on March 9, Senator Imee Marcos called on LGUs to help rice farmers to register in the Department of Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), to avail of financial assistance.

Marcos said the outdated RSBSA system delayed the distribution of P5,000 each to qualified rice farmers in Negros Occidental.

(Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS))

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