Damage assessment; Cauayan town mulls declaration of ‘state of calamity’ due to dry spell

Posted by watchmen
February 17, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

Negros Occidental’s Cauayan town is being considered to be placed under a “state of calamity” amid the dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

In a phone patch interview with the media yesterday, Cauayan Mayor John Rey Tabujara said 127 farmers from 14 villages in the town have been affected.

The dry spell has affected a total of 126 hectares of farmland in the locality, with damages pegged at almost P7.7 million, the highest recorded in the province.

Tabujara said he has asked for guidelines from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Municipal Agriculture Office on what would be the basis for declaring a “state of calamity.”

He said local officials have proposed conducting a total assessment and validation of the damage.

The mayor said that the funds for financial assistance are already in place.

The municipal officials are also eyeing providing food assistance for the affected farmers.


Cloud-seeding operation

The Negros Occidental provincial government has coordinated with the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas (DA-6) over a proposal to conduct cloud-seeding operations in the province, particularly in the 5th and 6th districts.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said they expect DA-6 Director Dennis Arpia to respond to their proposal next week.

The DA-6 will provide the aircraft needed for the cloud-seeding operation, possibly tapping the help of the Philippine Air Force.

The manpower and materials will come from the provincial government, with the augmentation from local government units in the 5th and 6th districts.

Earlier this week, Lacson revealed that the damage caused by the dry conditions in the province has already climbed to P14.4 million.

The state weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Negros Occidental, including its capital Bacolod City, will continue to experience drought conditions until May of this year.

Pagasa defined drought as three-consecutive months of below-normal rainfall conditions./DGB, WDJ


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