By Francis Wakefield
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that close to 72,000 families or 360 000 people from North Cotabato have already been affected as a result of the drought or dry spell affecting the country.
NDRRMC Executive Director and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, said as of their latest report, 71,909 families or 359,545 persons in 110 barangays in North Cotabato have already been affected by the drought.
He added that as per latest report, Regions CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), 5, 6, 9, 12, BARMM and National Capital Region (NCR), have been affected by the dry spell.
Jalad said an estimated P2, 287, 709,507.76 worth of damage to agriculture (rice, corn and High Value Commercial Crops) were reported in Regions CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, 5, 6, 12 and BARMM. However, the figure, he said, is still subject to validation and verification by the Department of Agriculture.
Soccsksargen, according to Jalad, was the most affected region as a result of El Niño with P808, 666,138.43 worth of damage to rice, corn and High Value Commercial Crops (HVCC), followed by the Bicol Region with P793, 973,458.81 worth of damage to agriculture (P577, 784, 046. 63 to rice, P215, 904,120.80 to corn and P2i5,291.38 to HVCC.
Next on the list was BARMM which incurred P403, 373,404 worth of damages to rice, corn and HVCC.
Jalad earlier said that based on the report by the Department of Agriculture (DA), the total number of farmers affected by the El Niño has already reached 84,932 farmers.
The total areas affected is 70,353 hectares in the following regions: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), 1,2, 3, 4-A, 4-B, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12, and BARMM.
Due to the dry spell, a number of areas in Regions MIMAROPA, 9, 12 and BARMM has been declared under a state of calamity.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier said the El Niño is anticipated to be weak and will likely result to below normal rainfall conditions in different parts of the country in the coming months.
Other impacts include slightly warmer surface temperatures in varying degrees from place to place, and from time to time.