PILI, Camarines Sur --- After Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Villafurte declared a State of Calamity in the province early this March due to the reported damage to crops and farmlands in various parts of the province and the impending threat of El Niño phenomenon in the agricultural sector, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) re-convened heads of government agencies to discuss possible measures to lessen the ill effects of the said weather phenomenon.
Based on the collated reports of the municipalities as reported by PAO Chief Luzena N. Bermeo, the partial damage on Agriculture due to El Nino as of March 22 already amounted to almost P6.8M. These include damage to crops such as rice, corn, High Value Crops (HVC), fishery and livestock.
Among those in the agriculture sector, rice farmers, numbering to 15,706 coming from 408 barangays covering 18, 177.79 hectares of agricultural land, were greatly affected. The estimated cost of the dry spell’s damage is estimated at P5.7M.
Corn planters, numbering to 3,200 from 58 barangays, were also affected. Damaged areas covered with corn is estimated to have reached up to 5,359.75 hectares while high value crops planted in some 150 barangay in the province grown in 388.78 hectares also affected 1,316 corn planters and incurred a partial damage of P17.5M.
The rise of the temperature as brought about by the El Niño phenomenon affected not just the crops and other cultivated plants in most part of the province but also the marine life in the seas, lakes and rivers.
Twenty–one coastal barangays including those villages covering the bodies of water coming from the municipalities of Del Gallego, Camaligan, Lagonoy, Siruma and Buhi felt the warming- up effect and heating of the water temperature, causing more or less P8.5M damage to their livelihood.
Livestock and poultry growers specifically in the municipalities of Del Gallego and Balatan were not spared as the dry spell also affected their domesticated animals and other ruminants. The partial damaged is already estimated at P140,000.00.
Bermeo, who is also the concurrent chief of the Environment Disaster Management and Emergency Response Office (EDMERO) said that the provincial government continues to assist the affected brgys by distributing water thru the provincial lorry trucks. Additional assistance will soon be underway once the respective programs of the various local government agencies are collated to ensure that the province’s constituents will survive the ill-effects brought by the El Niño phenomenon. (LSMacatangay-PIAV/Camarines Sur)