Negros Oriental to buy P20-M rice, equipment for El Niño-hit farmers

HEAVY EQUIPMENT. The Negros Oriental provincial government will deploy tractors, dump trucks, and other equipment to the local government units to mitigate the negative effects of the El Niño phenomenon. It will also procure some P20-million worth of rice to be distributed to affected farmers and fisherfolk.
HEAVY EQUIPMENT. The Negros Oriental provincial government will deploy tractors, dump trucks, and other equipment to the local government units to mitigate the negative effects of the El Niño phenomenon. It will also procure some P20-million worth of rice to be distributed to affected farmers and fisherfolk. PNA photo by Mary Judaline Flores Partlow

THE Negros Oriental provincial government is set to procure thousands of rice bags worth P20 million for distribution to farmers and fisherfolk who have been affected by the El Niño-induced drought.

Adrian Sedillo, the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (LDRRMO) of Negros Oriental, told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, that the money is available and will be taken from the province’s Quick Response Fund (QRF).

The QRF is a 30 percent portion of the province’s Calamity Fund that can now be used following the declaration placing the province under the state of calamity, he said.

“The latest report submitted by the Department of Agriculture showed that roughly 14,000 farmers have been badly hit by the El Niño and each will be given a 25-kilo sack of rice,” he added.

Meanwhile, other interventions by the provincial government to cushion the negative impact of the phenomenon include the procurement of 100 portable water pumps and some P100 million worth of tractors, mini dump trucks, and other heavy equipment.

On Tuesday, Governor Manuel Sagarbarria led other government officials in blessing the heavy equipment at the Capitol grounds.

These will be distributed to various local government units (LGUs) to help in recovery efforts and in preparation for the rainy season or the expected La Niña to hit the province in the coming months, Sagarbarria said.

The portable water pumps will be loaned to LGUs or farmers’ associations so they can draw water to irrigate farmlands that still have the chance for recovery, he said.

As of the latest report, Negros Oriental incurred some P541-million worth of damage in agricultural losses. (PNA)

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