By Francis Wakefield
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that more than P5 billion worth of damages to agriculture has been recorded due to the effects of the dry spell or drought affecting the country.
NDRRMC Executive Director and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, said base on their latest update issued at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, 2019, an estimated P5, 051,249,880.04 worth of damages to agriculture (rice, corn and high value commercial crops) were reported in Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), Regions 1,2,3, CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao).
However, Jalad said the figure is still subject to validation and verification by the Department of Agriculture.
Jalad added that a total of 71,909 families or 359,545 persons in 110 barangays in North Cotabato have already been affected by the drought or dry spell in North Cotabato Province.
At the same time, a total of 164,672 farmers were affected by the drought in Regions CAR, 1, 2, 3, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and BARMM.
Due to the effect of the El Niño phenomenon, Jalad said a total of 26 local government units from Mountain Province, Occidental Mindoro, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Zamboanga City, Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and Lanao del Sur have been declared under State of Calamity.
Jalad said during the past three months, rainfall analyses showed that impacts of below normal rainfall conditions in provinces of Western Mindanao and Ilocos Norte were already experienced and are expected to continue.
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.