P1.236-B damage to agriculture incurred due to El Niño

BAGUIO. In this file photo, a farmer harvest their crops as they brace for El Niño.
BAGUIO. In this file photo, a farmer harvest their crops as they brace for El Niño.Photo by Jean Nicole Cortes

THE Philippines has so far incurred over P1.236 billion in agricultural damage due to the prevailing El Niño phenomenon, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

In a situational report, the NDRRMC said the total production loss due to El Niño stood at P1,236,853,305.08 and this includes a total of 2,815.03 hectares of affected crop area with no chance of recovery.

These agricultural damages and losses were recorded in Ilocos region, Cagayan, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula.

The NDRRMC said a total of 84,731 families or 416,820 persons in 378 barangays in Mimaropa, Western Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula were affected by the damage and losses brought about by the dry spell.

It said a total of P487,154,117 worth of assistance, which includes family food packs, financial aid, fuel, GI sheet, generator and hygiene kit, was provided to the affected families, including farmers.

The disaster bureau said a total of 17 cities and municipalities particularly in the provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Palawan, Zamboanga del Sur and Ifugao have declared a state of calamity due to the El Niño phenomenon.

In a press conference, Department of Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel assured the provision of assistance, especially planting inputs, which does not require too much water to the affected farmers.

He said they are also in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment for the provision of alternative livelihood to the affected farmers and their families.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. earlier said that the prevailing El Niño phenomenon or dry spell may persist until August 2024 while there is a 62 percent chance that La Niña phenomenon will be experienced starting June.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) declared on March 22, 2024 the official start of the “Philippine Summer” where warm and dryer days will be experienced across the country. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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