Still not keen; Lacson: No need to declare state of calamity in NegOcc

Posted by watchmen
April 20, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE


Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said there is no need to declare a state of calamity in the province due to agricultural damage brought by the El Niño phenomenon.

“We still don’t have to declare a state of calamity because there are still funds we can use,” Lacson said.

Lacson explained that when a local government unit (LGU) is placed under a state of calamity, “specific funds become available” to respond to the needs of the locality.

“There are certain funds you can use,” Lacson said.

He earlier announced that the provincial government is processing financial assistance for farmers whose crops have been damaged due to the dry spell.

The damage to crops due to El Niño in the province has now reached P184.7 million, according to data from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).

The dry spell has also affected 4,739 farmers from 178 barangays across 25 LGUs.

Earlier this month, San Enrique town and Kabankalan City were under a state of calamity due to severe crop damage.

Lacson believes that the two LGUs intend to support their affected constituents through financial assistance.

Kabankalan has incurred damage to rice crops amounting to P41.91 million, with 1,214 farmers affected, the OPA said.

San Enrique has recorded crop losses worth P3.581 million, impacting 96 farmers in six villages.

Meanwhile, the United Sugar Producers Federation (Unifed) appealed to the provincial government to declare a state of calamity in the province.

“This will enable them to buy planes for cloud seeding. Our sugar industry needs rain now,” Unifed president Manuel Lamata said in a statement.

“This will be the same next year, and the province should be ready to help the island of Negros,” he added.


No declaration

Cauayan Mayor John Rey Tabujara, in a text message yesterday, said he is not considering declaring a state of calamity in the municipality despite the LGU recording losses in agriculture due to severe drought.

However, Tabujara did not provide any specific reasons for not making the declaration.

The municipal government continues to assess the extent of the agricultural damage.

Cauayan has incurred crop damage amounting to P67,889,229, with 20 barangays and 1,128 farmers affected.

Government officials are now evaluating the need to declare a state of calamity should the circumstances worsen or if additional assistance from the national government and other organizations becomes necessary to support the affected farmers./JB, WDJ

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