El Niño damages P121M worth of crops in Cebu province

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo May 22,2019 - 03:03 PM

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said that the weak El Niño now affecting Cebu province already damaged P121 million worth of crops and other agricultural products. |photo from Cebu.gov.ph

CEBU CITY, Philippines — It may have rained in parts of Cebu province the last few days, but this was not enough to remedy the ill effects of the mild El Niño phenomenon.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said they already recorded P121.7 million worth of damage in agricultural crops as a result of the drought.

It left around 67,057 individuals coming from 13,000 families who live in 35 of the 51 component Local Government Units in the province with barely enough income for their needs.

Bantayan town in Bantayan Island reported the biggest damage amounting to P24 million, said Rhee Telen Jr. of the PDRRMO Information Section.  The ice-ice disease that was triggered by the very humid weather affected a 300-hectare seaweed plantation there.

Tuburan town in midwest Cebu that takes pride in its coffee farms, also reported P19.9 million worth of damage on various high-value crops, coffee farms and livestocks.  Around 301 coffee farmers there were also badly hit by the dry spell.

Read More: El Niño has affected crops in 7 towns, 2 cities of Cebu; fish kill cases on the rise

Wanting to caution the ill effects of the El Niño, Telen said PDRRMO already purchased at least P32 million worth relief items, including food packs and water containers, for the affected farmers.

Telen said they intend to complete distribution of the relief items before outgoing Governor Hilario Davide III vacates the governor’s office on June 30 to give way to the assumption of governor-elect Gwen Garcia.

Capitol’s purchase was taken from the P59 million Quick Response Fund (QRF) for 2019.

During their session on March 29, 2019, members of the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) placed the entire province of Cebu under a state of calamity. Damage caused by the El Niño was only pegged at P100 million then. It increased to P121 million as of today, May 22.

Aside from this, at least 16 LGUs also made a similar declaration to facilitate the use of their respective QRFs for relief operations. /dcb

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TAGS: Bantayan, Cebu province, damage, El Niño, P121M, PDRRMO, QRF, Tuburan

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