Cebu City's P11M in crops lost

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Thursday, January 23, 2014


CEBU CITY -- Thirty-six animals with an estimated market value of P63,000 died and an estimated P11.5 million worth of crops were affected by the “extreme weather conditions” here – enough for the City Council to declare 17 city barangays under a state of calamity.

But Mayor Michael Rama cautioned the Council because they could be wrong in doing so.

Rama wanted the City to check first how the animals died because it might have been caused by malnutrition. He suggested that a state of preparedness be declared instead.

The resolution declaring the barangays under a state of calamity were sponsored by Councilors Alvin Arcilla, David Tumulak, and Phillip Zafra.

Tumulak received the call about animals dying due to extreme cold last Tuesday, prompting him to visit Barangay Sudlon I immediately.

A 17-year-old girl and a third year high school student in the barangay were also reported to have collapsed, possibly because of hypothermia.

Tumulak said the teenagers recovered after they were covered with warm blankets.

Layers

City Health Department Chief Dr. Daisy Villa said there is a need for people in the mountain barangays to wear long pants, jackets and socks and if possible, to wear several layers of clothes.

Reports on the suspected hypothermia cases have not reached her office as of Wednesday.

Villa also warned that cough and colds would be rampant during the cold weather so residents of upland barangays should immediately visit the health centers.

The barangays declared under a state of calamity are Adlaon, Bonbon, Budlaan, Buot, Cambinocot, Guba, Lusaran, Malubog, Paril, Pung-ol Sibugay, Sinsin, Sirao, Sudlon I, Sudlon II, Tabunan, Tagba-o and Taptap.

“With the consistent and persistent threat of bigger landslides to happen, coupled with the warning from Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) that we may expect colder conditions in the coming days and nights until early February, the City Government had to respond accordingly, promptly and without delay, otherwise, lives may be lost and properties may further be destroyed and livelihood of the mountain folks extremely affected,” the resolution read.

Lost crops

According to the report of City Agriculturist Joelito Baclayon, a total of 354 hectares of land in 15 barangays were affected by the cold weather.

Barangay Adlaon suffered worse damage than the rest, affecting 134 hectares or about P4.5 million worth of crops.

Sweet corn, eggplant, ampalaya, tomato, mango, banana and cutflowers are grown in Adlaon.

Animals that died in that barangay include two heads of cattle, one carabao, and a goat.

Barangay Sudlon II had 40 hectares of farmland or crops worth P30 million that were destroyed by the “weather phenomenon.”

Crops in the barangay include lettuce, cucumber, tomato, Chinese cabbage, eggplant, pepper and spring onions. Six cows also died in the barangay.

Tumulak said he personally saw dead cows and noticed cracks on their skin.

Crops planted on an average of 35 hectares of land were also affected in Barangays Sudlon I and Tagba-o.

Tagba-o also had the most number of animals affected with 14 deaths, 12 of which were cows.

Supplements

A piglet also did not survive the cold weather in Barangay Taptap, according to the “damage assessment at hillyland barangays due to weather phenomenon” prepared by Baclayon.

Tumulak recommended that calamity funds be used to purchase vitamins and other supplements for the animals so they will be able to withstand the cold weather.

Another thing the council is worried about is the possibility of landslides in the mountain barangays.

A landslide already occurred in Barangay Sudlon I.

“For almost two weeks already, the city’s mountain barangays had been troubled by moderate to heavy yet consistent downpour, causing rainwater to drip down to the interior of the soil,” the council’s resolution read. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 23, 2014.

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