No state of calamity declaration yet for Kabankalan

No state of calamity declaration yet for Kabankalan

Kabankalan City cannot declare yet a state of calamity despite the damages incurred by its farmers due to the dry spell.

Ricky Muscosa, acting city agriculturist on Tuesday, March 5, said their initial data showed that 975 hectares of rice lands were damaged and that 1,200 rice farmers in 17 of the 32 barangays have been affected by the dry spell in the city.

Muscosa said they are validating the data right now, "if it would qualify under the disaster risk reduction guidelines," he added.

Under Memorandum Order No. 60 of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and Republic Act 10121, the declaration of a state of calamity is based on its impact on the population, livelihoods, infrastructure, and the environment.

Muscosa said the data they have collected "cannot yet support a declaration of a state of calamity."

A report from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist showed that Kabankalan City was the worst-hit locality in Negros Occidental with damaged placed at P41,726,761.20.

Kabankalan has a total of over 5,000 hectares of agricultural land.

However, Muscosa said only Brgy. Magballo and parts of Brgy. Camingawan has an irrigation system as most agricultural land depends on rainwater.

To address the needs of the affected rice farmers, the City Agriculture Office distributed free vegetable seedlings as alternative crops for rice farmers during the city government's weekly Gugma Caravan in the different barangays, he said.

Muscosa also said they are now planning to install a solar-powered irrigation system, which may be advantageous for rice growers, particularly during the extended dry season.*


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