CABARROGUIS, Quirino: The province of Quirino is under a state of calamity because of the severe effects of the long dry spell that resulted to about P251 million worth of damage to agriculture and fishery.
The provincial board passed the resolution because of the widespread destruction not only in the province of Quirino but also other provinces in Northern Luzon where plantations of rice, corn and vegetables were affected.
Board Member Magdalena Saladino said based on the initial assessment report by the provincial agriculture office, damage to corn reached at least P205,897,649 while rice damage was pegged at P42,115,125.
Saladino said the damage to vegetable plantations and fishponds has reached P3.7 million.
She also added that the drought in the province has severely affected a total of 12,514 hectares of corn plantations, 3,445 hectares of partially damaged rice fields and 105 hectares partially damaged vegetable plantations.
“We are declaring a state of calamity to help our people especially our farmers mitigate the adverse effects of the long dry spell in the province,” said Gov. Junie Cua.
In southern Philippines, preparations by local government units are underway to mitigate the effects of the strong El Niño.
The General Santos City government has created a technical working group that will serve as the special monitoring team for the El Niño task force and spearhead efforts to mitigate its effects in the region.
Dr. Agripino Dacera Jr., Action Officer of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) in General Santos, said most of the farmers the city will not be seriously affected because their families do not rely on farming alone. They have family members who are employed in big establishments like Dole Philippines and shopping malls.
Nevertheless, the city government still allocated P400,000 worth for the drought-tolerant seedlings to be distributed to farmers.
Merlinda Donasco, City Agriculture officer, said that in the last quarter of 2014, at least 11,822.29 hectares of land was affected by the drought with an estimated damage to crops worth P37,798.71 while 6, 463 farmers were affected.
Jonathan Duhaylungsod, chief of the Sarangani Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, said intense dry weather damaged some 949 hectares of corn farmlands, 771 hectares of banana, 452 hectares of coconut, 152 hectares of palay and 112 hectares of palm oil.
The hardest hit by the dry spell were farmlands in the municipalities of Alabel, Maasim and Malungon, with nearly a thousand farmers directly affected.
Under the mitigation plan, the Department of Agriculture regional office has prepared 500 bags of vegetable seeds worth P2.25 million; 5,000 bags of drought-resistant rice seeds worth P8 million; and 5,053 bags of corn seeds worth PP7.57 million.
The agency will also set aside feed concentrates and silo forage seeds worth P5 million, drugs worth P5 million, P9 million for the installation of 100 shallow tube wells and related machineries for open source water.
The agency will also acquire around 10,000 bags of organic fertilizers worth P3 million.
For cloud seeding, the DA has earmarked an initial P4.5 million that will be good for around 100 hours of sorties.