NEGROS Occidental Governor Isidro Zayco said the local government units (LGUs) in the province that will be adversely affected by the dry spell can declare a state of calamity.

Zayco said the towns and cities can start using their emergency fund to mitigate the impact of the weather disturbance in their areas.

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But before any declaration can be made, Zayco told the LGUs to conduct assessment and evaluation of the extent of damage in their areas “to justify such declaration.”

On February 15, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) reported that the dry spell has already affected eight areas in the province and damaged 502 hectares of crops valued at P7.3 million.

Based on the OPA report, badly hit were the towns of Hinigaran, Murcia and Hinobaan and Himamaylan City. Others were Kabankalan City, Cauayan, La Castellana and Ilog towns.

As of Monday, Zayco said the whole province of Negros Occidental could not yet declare the state of calamity as the extent of damage due to severe heat does not affect the whole province yet.

In fact, rains were experienced the last few days in some parts in the northern part of the province. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)