CITY HALL departments monitoring livestock and agriculture reported Thursday that farms in the city are "moderately affected" by the El Niño phenomenon.

During Thursday's I-Speak media forum at the city hall, City Veterinarian Dr. Armando Barbadillo Jr. and City Agriculturist Angelo Tabay said their offices are currently consolidating data from farms in the city.

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Their present reports show that the city is moderately affected by the dry spell.

Tabay gave a rough estimate that the city's crops and fisheries have lowered production output by 20 to 30 percent compared to last year's data.

"We will be recommending to the City to allocate a budget for a project design in aid of these farmers. We plan to propose the provisions of water pumps," Tabay said.

Barbadillo said his office is also planning to submit a set of recommendations based on a report that P26,000 of estimated livestock value has been lost due to the hot season.

Both officials, however, expect that conditions might go from moderate to severe. Of all the livestock damage recorded, poultry recorded highest.

Damages

As of March 3, four farms were affected in Barangay Dacudao. Goat died with an estimated value of P2000 and 39 chickens died amounting to P13,200, said Barbadillo.

"On the same date, Tugbok District recorded that 2 farms were affected. From these two, 60 chickens died with an estimated value of P10,800," Barbadillo said.

In a corresponding data, areas that have been affected by El Niño are Tugbok District, which recorded a total of 96 hectares of pasture moderately affected. These affected a total of 25 farmers, Barbadillo said.

"In Tugbok District, affected are the following barangays: Biao Guianga with 6.5 hectares; Ula, Biao Tienda, 32; Matina Biao, 20; Biao Escuela, 26; Balingaeng, 2; Tugbok, 0.5; Los Amigos, 1; Tacunan, 1.5; New Valencia, 4; and Upper Mintal with 2.5 hectares affected," Barbadillo said.

Rabies cases

Another concern among animals this El Niño is the spread of rabies, Barbadillo said.

"Tuwing summer ang trend kung saan mataas ang cases ng rabies sa mga aso. Recent data showed na tumaas ang rabies among dogs but hindi naman talaga alarming. Yung data sa rabies sa tao naman would show na although meron tayong cases ng rabies sa mga aso hindi directly ibig sabihin na na-acquire ito ng mga tao," he added.

"We give immunization to dogs for free. Just go to our veterinary offices near you area. We aim to control or eliminate rabies in the city," Barbadillo said. (Jade C. Zaldivar)