Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Philippine Province Under State of Calamity as El Niño Damages 27,000 Hectares of Crops

Local media reported that the government of North Cotabato placed the entire province under a state of calamity as crop damage rose significantly because of the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon, which was aggravated by rat infestation in five towns.

According to Provincial Agriculturist Engr. Eliseo Mangliwan, the drought has already damaged 27,558 hectares of farmlands due to water shortage and rat infestation. The damage includes rubber (10,722 hectares); coconut (9,956 hectares); corn (3,690 hectares); oil palm (2,199 hectares); rice/palay (548 hectares); coffee (287 hectares) and cacao (153 hectares). The total economic losses amounted to P238,017,916.

Mangliwan said rat attack on large agricultural farms in the towns of Antipas, Arakan, Kabacan, Matalam and President Roxas continued in spite of efforts of their office to contain the problem. The declaration of the state of calamity will enable the provincial administration to use its five percent calamity fund.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced earlier that the drought will last until April this year.

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