BACOLOD CITY – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) declared a state of calamity in Negros Occidental Thursday after damage and losses to crops and animals due to El Niño reached more than P400 million as of April 20.
The PDRRMC, in a meeting presided by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. here, unanimously approved the declaration.
Earlier, the towns of Hinobaan, Pontevedra and Hinigaran, and Sipalay City already declared state of calamity after a prolonged shortage of water supply in farms due to the absence of rain, a report of the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division said.
As of Wednesday, damage and losses to rice, corn, high- value commercial crops (HVCC), and tilapia, particularly due to dry spell and pest, have been pegged at P221.88 million, a report of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) showed.
According to the Sugar Regulatory Administration, damage to sugarcane and molasses in Negros Occidental has reached P178.5 million.
An earlier report of the Provincial Veterinary Office showed an initial P3.16 million in livestock and poultry losses.
Based on the OPA report, affected are 7,080 farmers, 44 fisherfolk, and 7,909 sugar planters in 136 barangays of 21 local government units in five districts of Negros Occidental.
Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., chairman of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) committee on finance, budget and appropriation, said they expect the PDRRMC to submit the resolution on the state of calamityMonday for the concurrence of SP.
In principle, the declaration of state of calamity is already approved by Provincial Board, the board member added.