• Puerto Princesa declares state of calamity

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    PUERTO PRINCESA CITY: Following Davao Oriental, Cebu, Bohol and Iloilo, which earlier made similar declarations, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of this city also placed Puerto Princesa under a state of calamity due to the long dry spell brought about by the El Niño phenomenon.

    The declaration came following an emergency session called Friday where Task Force El Niño (TFEN) presented its findings that around 90 percent of Puerto Princesa’s 66 barangays are now experiencing the damages caused by the incessant dry spell.

    Over a hundred farmers are in need of the city government’s support as their agricultural lands are dried up and can no longer be planted with crops.

    The Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) also reported that the water level in the Irawan Water Shed in Barangay Irawan has already reached the third level alarm.

    Richard Ligad, city information officer, said the alarm means the water supply that comes from the dam in Irawan is no longer enough for consumers even if there is an ongoing water rationing.

    To mitigate the effects of El Niño, the Sangguniang Panlungsod will use P20 million as calamity fund and for the purchase of two lorry trucks as support to the PPCWD in rationing water.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has reported that since 2015, a total of 6 provinces, 12 cities and 17 municipalities have been declared under a state of calamity because of El Niño.

    Regions 2, 10 and 12 have been suffering the worst, with Isabela and Cotabato being the most affected, each of them losing more than P1 billion in agricultural productions.

    Isabela, which is often called the “Rice Granary of the North,” was placed under a state of calamity in August 2015. Cotabato was placed under a state of calamity in January 2016.

    The other provinces that declared a state of calamity were Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, Maguindanao and Quirino.

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