BACOLOD City – Two municipalities in Negros Occidental have declared a state of calamity in the wake of the worsening effects of the dry spell due to the El Niño phenomenon.
The towns of Isabela and Murcia suffered heavy losses in crops, particularly in the rice sector, based on figures of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).
Municipal Agriculturist Ernesto Moleta said on Friday that Isabela was placed under a state of calamity since the first week of April after production losses reached about PHP10 million.
He noted the amount accounts for only 12 barangays since they have yet to assess the damage in 18 other barangays.
A state of calamity can already be declared if there are two or more affected barangays, he added.
Of the PHP10 million, losses in rice sector were pegged at almost PHP7 million while combined losses among other crops such as banana and vegetables hit PHP3 million.
Earlier, Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino confirmed that Murcia town also declared a state of calamity last week after incurring PHP8.29 million in production losses.
The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) initially reported PHP76.6 million worth of production losses in the province’s rice, corn, high value commercial crops, and fishery sector.
In the sugarcane sector, about PHP366 million in production losses has been reported by the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).
Meanwhile, the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) reported about PHP3 million in losses among livestock and poultry raisers in Negros Occidental.
Dr. Ryan Janoya, head of the PVO Animal Health and Meat Inspection Services Division, said as of Friday, losses in the Fourth and Fifth Districts were pegged at almost PHP1.8 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 thus, the amount of losses may still increase.
Huge losses were reported among swine and chicken, particularly broilers and layers.
Janoya said swine for livestock and broiler for poultry are most vulnerable to extreme heat.
He added that some ruminants like goats and cattle were also affected by the dry spell. (PNA)