Cauayan to decide on state of calamity within week

photo courtesy of The Visayan Daily Star

Bacolod City – As damage to agricultural crops and the numbers affected farmers showed signs of further increasing in Cauayan, Negros Occidental, Mayor John Rey Tabujara said they will have to decide whether or not to declare a state of calamity by this week.

Tabujara said they are coordinating with the concerned local and national agencies, and members of the Sangguniang Bayan, to finalize the action they should take.

“We are conducting an inventory to determine how many affected farmers have not yet received any financial assistance from the provincial government and the Department of Agriculture,” he added.

A report of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist indicates that Cauayan has logged the most damage to rice crops in Negros Occidental, pegged at P66,139,789, as of April 25.

The OPA report further indicated that the drought in Cauayan has affected 1,130 rice farmers, who are tilling 562.48 hectares of land, in 20 barangays.

Tabujara said the municipal government has already distributed 600 food packs to affected farmers.

Based on the OPA reports, the Negros Occidental 6th district, which includes Cauayan, is the area hardest hit by the ongoing drought brought by the El Niño phenomenon.

Damage to crops, excluding sugarcane plantations, has reached P130.3 million, which is almost two-thirds of the total of P197.1 million damage incurred in the province.

Rep. Mercedes Alvarez said she has asked for assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), for the affected farmers.

Alvarez said DSWD Region 6 has given food packs to the affected farmers.

“We’re also in talks with the DA for assistance to the farmers. Hopefully they will also grant our request for solar pumps and mini dams,” she added.

Alvarez added that her family also purchased a water tanker to help local government units’ delivery of water to drought-affected residents in her district. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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