THE Department of Agriculture-Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DA-DRRM) said crop damage due to the dry spell brought about by the weak El Niño phenomenon has reached P55.3 million.
The amount could still increase, said DA-DRRM focal person Roy Jose Pascua.
He said Davao del Sur is the most affected in Davao region (Region 11).
“Pinaka-affected province natin is Davao del Sur. Affected na talaga sila doon," Pascua said in a phone interview with SunStar Davao on Friday, March 15.
"Possible na tataas pa ang damage report kasi initial pa lang yun. Ang in-update ay may pumasok na namang damage sa high-value crops. Ongoing pa ang damage report," he added.
Pascua said they have conducted cloud seeding operations and introduced other interventions to minimize the damage.
"This is to save high-value crops like banana, cacao, yung mga fruit trees natin and vegetables," he said.
"Yung interventions natin, mayroon sa water management, production support and awareness through the help of the media," he added.
Pascua said water support includes deploymemt of water pumps for irrigation or the open source pumps, while production support includes distribution of seedlings.
Pascua assured that they were monitoring not only the vulnerable areas but also the non-vulnerable areas.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has started issuing El Niño advisories, indicating that a weak El Niño is prevailing in the country.