BACOLOD City – Two municipalities have declared a state of calamity in the wake of the worsening effects of the dry spell due to the El Niño phenomenon in Negros Occidental.
The towns of Isabela and Murcia suffered heavy crop losses, particularly in the rice sector, according to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).
Municipal Agriculturist Ernesto Moleta said Isabela was placed under a state of calamity since the first week of April after suffering around P10 million production losses.
He noted the figure is limited for only 12 villages since they have yet to assess the damage in 18 other villages.
“A state of calamity can already be declared if there are two or more affected barangays,” Moleta said.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino confirmed that Murcia town also declared a state of calamity last week after incurring P8.29 million in production losses.
The OPA initially reported a P76.6 million worth of production losses in the province’s rice, corn, high value commercial crops, and fishery sector.
The Sugar Regulatory Administration meanwhile reported around P366 million in production losses of the province’s sugarcane sector.
Provincial Veterinary Office Animal Health and Meat Inspection Services Division head Dr. Ryan Janoya said as of Friday, losses in the fourth and fifth districts were pegged at almost P1.8 million.
These districts host a large portion of the province’s livestock and poultry production areas, he added.
Janoya said monitoring, assessment and validation are ongoing and the amount of losses may still increase. (With a report from PNA/PN)