SP may declare state of calamity tomorrow

ILOILO – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) may place this province under a state of calamity tomorrow, May 31.

SP member Marcelo Valentin Serag, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, said his committee would make such recommendation.

Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. requested for such declaration early this month before the May 13 midterm elections.

“Nakita gid man naton nga kinahanglan nga i-declare, only nga ginaplastar lang naton sang maayo…nga ma-address ang concerns sang kada individual nga naapektohan,” said Serag.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) recommended the declaration of a state of calamity in a recently passed resolution.

The PDRRMC also recommended a budget of P29,725,790 to fund El Niño mitigating measures charged against the available Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management trust fund.

According to Jerry Bionat, PDRRMC executive officer, El Niño’s damage to Iloilo’s agriculture and livestock has become widespread and over 22 percent of the province’s population is already affected.

The proposed mitigating measures were for the following:

* production and support services (P10,821,350)

* health impacts (P5,803,920)

* social impacts (P100,520)

* on water (P9 million)

* environment protection (P1 million)

* veterinary services (P2 million)

* information and education campaign (P1 million)

Serag suggested that the P9 million for water be used instead to buy rice and palay seeds for affected farmers.

“Tama ka limitado ang resources so kinahanglan naton mag-prioritize, tan-awon kon sin-o ang mas nagakinahanglan anay kag kon ano ang mas kinahanglan, amo na ang i-address,” said Serag.

Regarding the information and education campaign, Serag said such should be continuous.

“Ang gina-question ko lang ngaa subong lang? It should have been done antes pa mag-abot ang El Niño,” he said.

Under National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s (NDRRMC) Memorandum Order No. 86, series of 2018, a city, municipality, province or region may be declared under a state of calamity whenever two or more of the following conditions brought by drought-affected crop production are present:

* at least 20 percent of the population are affected and in need of emergency assistance

* widespread destruction of fishponds, crops, poultry and livestock, and other agricultural products

Bionat said current conditions met the criteria. All 42 towns and the component city of Passi have submit reports to the Provincial Agriculture Office detailing adverse effects of the El Niño to their agricultural crops, fishponds, poultry, and livestock.

A total of 32,903 farming families or 197,418 individuals are affected, he added.

Six municipalities have so far declared a state of calamity – Bingawan, Lambunao, Janiuay, Maasin, Santa Barbara, and Mina./PN


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