3 more Iloilo towns could be placed under state of calamity

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drought El Niño Bingawan Iloilo
The town of Bingawan declared a state of calamity in the last week of March. -- BINGAWAN LGU

THE ILOILO Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) is looking into the possibility of declaring the towns of Lambunao, Janiuay, and Cabatuan towns under a state of calamity due to the prevailing El Niño phenomenon. PAO said damage has so far been estimated at P911 million. Assistant Provincial Agriculturist, Elias V. Sandig said the amount was based on reports submitted by 39 local government units as of March 15. Around 24,176 farmers have been affected with 6,712 hectares of farms that are totally damaged and 16,985 hectares partially damaged. Last week, the municipality of Bingawan already made a state of calamity declaration due to losses in the agriculture and fisheries sectors. “Our total loses is already P53,172,976 covering rice losses worth P37,947, 976, corn (P1.7 million), livestock (P380,700) and fisheries (P3 million),” Mayor Mark P. Palabrica said in a phone interview. He added that more than 25 units of small farm reservoir in the town have also been affected by the dry spell. Mr. Palabrica said they have started implementing mitigating measures to combat the effects of El Niño. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo