LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Governor Teodoro Baguilat declared a state of calamity in Ifugao on Saturday.

“We are just waiting for the Sanguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) declaration to make it official,” the governor said.

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Baguilat said damages to rice and corn have now reached P70 million and 177 heads of cattle and goats alone succumbed to the extreme heat and other related diseases.

Three days ago, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported that livestock death for goats reached 45, carabao at seven, cattle at 113 and swine at two heads.

Baguilat said the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council has earlier declared the state of calamity to access funds to save the province and provide mitigating measure for affected areas.

Also, rising temperature and little rainfall in the Magat River, which courses through Ifugao and Isabela, has caused oxygen depletion in the water, killing the fish grown in cages.

Baguilat said the municipality of Alfonso Lista earlier declared a state of calamity. 

“That is a good thing; we are urging the municipalities to tap their calamity funds to mitigate the effects of El Niño,” he said.

Alfonso Lista has logged production losses to reach P651,287,000 for over 17 hectares of rice and corn crops.

In Aguinaldo, 24 hectares have been affected at an estimated market value of P158,470, while Lamut has 980 hectares with a market price of P61,250,000. 

In the capital town of Lagawe, 451 hectares are affected by the dry spell with P28,187,500 in crops lost.

The DA has conducted a massive information campaign, recommending the use of water pumps from nearby creeks, irrigation canals and rivers.

The DA earlier reported P1,376,220,352 in damages recorded due to the death of livestock alone and 82 families are suffering from the deaths of their livestock investments, especially in Ifugao, Benguet and Kalinga. (Ma. Elena Catajan)