State of calamity recommendation to be submitted to Iloilo provincial council Monday

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drought El Niño Bingawan Iloilo
The town of Bingawan in Iloilo was the first to declare a state of calamity in the province. -- BINGAWAN LGU

THE RECOMMENDATION to declare a state of calamity in the entire Iloilo province is expected to be submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial council) on Monday, April 22, following an assessment that about 22% of the 117,000 rice farmers have been affected by the prevailing El Niño phenomenon. The recommendation was approved by the Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) last week. PDRRMO head Jerry V. Bionat said the declaration is necessary with more than 20% of the population in the towns and municipalities affected. Mr. Bionat said the recommendation will include proposed mitigating measures from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, and Department of Trade and Industry. Ildefonso T. Toledo, head of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), said, “The huge damage is on the rice crops. About 7,000 hectares of rice farms are totally damaged while 19,000 hectares are partially damaged.” The municipal governments of Bingawan and Lambunao have already declared a state of calamity while the towns of Janiuay, Maasin, and San Dionisio have signified their plan to make the same declaration. A state of calamity declaration paves the way for the release of emergency funds. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo