Sunday, June 16, 2019

Cebu City declares 'state of preparedness' due to El Niño

TO MITIGATE the impact of the weak El Niño affecting Cebu and other parts of the country, the Cebu City Council has declared the entire city under a "state of preparedness."

The declaration came after Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRRMC) approved a resolution placing the city under state of preparedness and requesting the City Council to come up with the same declaration.

Under the approved resolution of CCDRRMC, the City Agriculture Department (CAD) has already reported that 28 out of the 80 barangays in the city are already affected by the hot weather and experienced shortage of water supply.

The resolution states that Barangays Adlaon, Sudlon I and II; Tagbao and Taptap are among the villages affected by the weak El Niño.

In an earlier interview, City Agriculturist Apple Tribunalo said that although farmers can still harvest their crops, 70 percent of the water supply in at least 28 upland barangays is already depleted due to El Niño.

CAD wants to spend P27 million, which include the P12 million under the annual budget for the purchase of hoses, water pumps and water drums under the annual budget.

The City has around 14,000 farmers.

Wesley Vincent Yñigo, CCDRRMC operations chief, said that once there is a need, they will recommend for the declaration of a state of calamity in areas affected by the El Niño.

“State of preparedness is different from state of calamity because in preparedness, we just inform the public to prepare as to the state of calamity, it involves release of funds. In state of calamity, release of funds that will be used in any spending related to the calamity will be faster,” he said.

If the City will be placed under state of calamity, Tribunalo said they can ask an additional P15 million budget from the disaster fund to provide more assistance to the farmers.

The additional budget, she said, will cover for the purchase of seeds and fertilizers, among others, to help the farmers cope up with the effect of the dry spell.

The City Council also asked the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) and their member villages to gather data and submit report on the impact of El Niño on water supply, farm production and livestock in their respective areas and identify the needs of the affected sectors. (JKV)


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