Lambunao allocates P9M for interventions after town declares state of calamity due to El Niño

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LAMBUNAO IS the second town in Iloilo province to declare a state of calamity due to El Niño and the municipal government is tapping P9 million from its emergency fund to assist affected residents. Mayor Jason R. Gonzales of Lambunao said the dry spell has affected 3,588 farmers as well as water supply in more than 4,000 households. “Our total agricultural losses in value is total P164 million, mostly covering rice, corn, bananas, and various vegetables,” he said. The initial intervention, however, will focus on water supply. “We will use the fund to provide potable water for the residents because that is our priority right now. We will be using it to purchase two water trucks (for) those barangays who have no access to a water source” he said. “This is just for immediate response. We can’t extend help to the farmers in terms of irrigation because the budget is not enough,” he added. For the long-term plan, the mayor said, they will be identifiying new water sources for households and build up to 100 small farm reservoir, which will serve as water collecting ponds to augment the needs of farmers. As of March 31, 2019, the total rice losses in the entire Iloilo province due to El Niño has surged to P1.026 billion, according to Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Elias V. Sandig. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo