Alvarez seeking assistance for drought-hit farmers

DRY SPELL.  The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has already released PHP23 million in indemnity claims for farmers affected by drought in 2023. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier said that the phenomenon may last until the second quarter of 2024.
DRY SPELL. The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has already released PHP23 million in indemnity claims for farmers affected by drought in 2023. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier said that the phenomenon may last until the second quarter of 2024. PNA file

Negros Occidental Sixth District Rep. Mercedes Alvarez said she is seeking assistance from the concerned government agencies to help the farmers hit by the drought.

She said she has asked for possible aid from the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the affected farmers.

The sixth district of the province was the hardest hit area by the ongoing drought brought by the El Niño phenomenon.

A report by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist showed that the district sustained damages to its rice and corn crops of P130.3 million, or almost two-thirds of the total P197.1 million worth of damages reported in the province.

Damage to rice crops in the sixth district showed that Cauayan incurred the bulk of the damage at P66,139,789, Hinoba-an – P2,525,595, Sipalay City – P1,697,533, Ilog – P7,487,370, Kabankalan City – P41,910,361 and Candoni – P10,300,773.

Damage to corn crops in Sipalay City is P243,356.

Alvarez said DSWD-6 has given food packs to the affected farmers.

"We're also in talks with the DA for assistance to the farmers. Hopefully, they will also grant our request for solar pumps and mini dams," she said.

She is also asking the DENR to give tree seedlings for the continuation of the tree planting program in the south.

Alvarez added that her family has also purchased a water tanker to help local government units' delivery of water to drought-affected residents in her district.*

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