• Maguindanao placed under ‘state of calamity’

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    MAGUINDANAO: The province of Maguindanao was placed under state of calamity anew but this time from drought affecting farmers, local officials announced on Saturday.

    Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu of Maguindanao said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council) issued a resolution last week declaring under a state of calamity the 34 affected towns in Maguindanao.

    The governor did not give the exact amount of damaged crops and livestock from the current dry spell, but on April 14, the Department of Agriculture (DA) of Maguindanao warned damage to crops reached about P70.8-million and affecting 8,672 farmers. He added the situation is worsening.

    The drought came after the military ended its all-out offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and its coddlers that had displaced thousands of civilians. An estimated 9,000 of the displaced remain at evacuation centers.

    The operation also damaged P28.7 million worth of crops and livestock that affected more than 3,000 farmers.

    Mangudadatu said the provincial government is planning to “extend some assistance” to returning evacuees like providing seeds and poultry animals.

    “We are continuously providing relief assistance to the remaining evacuees. Upon their return, we will try to provide also their daily needs amid this dry spell that affects their sustenance,” he added.

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