Iloilo Seeks Declaration Of State Of Calamity Due To El Niño

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) submitted a resolution to the Sanguniang Panlalawigan (SP) on Tuesday to declare the entire province of Iloilo under the state of calamity due to El Niño.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., as chairman of the PDRRMC, requested in a resolution to approve mitigating measures of the effects of El Niño with the corresponding budget of PHP29,725,790.

Jerry Bionat, PDRRMO chief, said the PDRRMC resolution is based on the validated reports of the 43 municipalities in the province.

“The validating team had validated the reports and it was confirmed that 24% of the population of the province is affected,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.

He said the damage on standing agricultural crops, including high value crops, is now worth PHP1.2 billion.

Based on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Memorandum Order 86-2018 or the Calamity Area Declaration by the local government unit, a city, municipality, province, or region may be declared under a state of calamity it has at least 20 percent of the population affected and in need of emergency assistance and widespread destruction of fishponds, crops, poultry and livestock, and other agricultural products, Bionat said.

In addition, the resolution stated that five municipalities — Bingawan, Lambunao, Maasin, Janiuay, and Santa Barbara — already declared a state of calamity.

Citing the same memorandum order of the NDRRMC, Bionat said the province of Iloilo can be placed under state of calamity when two or more municipalities are affected by disaster.

On Tuesday, the municipality of Mina was declared under state of calamity due to El Niño.

According to Bionat, affected rice farmers in town had reached 366 with coverage of 700 hectares land area.

The PDRRMC also anticipated the towns of Igbaras and Miag-ao to declare the same because of the effect of heat on agriculture.

“The SP was requested to implement the mitigating measures because the extreme heat cause by El Niño is expected to be experienced until June,” he said.

The budget of PHP29 million, which will be charged against the Trust Fund of the Iloilo Provincial Government, will be used to proposed mitigating measures on production and support services; health impacts; social impacts; water; environmental protection; veterinary services; and information and education campaign.

Bionat hoped the SP can tackle the resolution during their regular session on May 14. (PNA)

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