HIGHLIGHT: The entire province of Iloilo is now under a state of calamity. About 2,800 hectares of rice lands had been damaged due to drought.
The drought in Iloilo since February has now reached calamity state.
The Iloilo Provincial Council announced this on Thursday after the recommendation of the Iloilo Porvincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC).
Under the Republic Act 8185 and National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Memorandum Order No. 4, when two or more municipalities are struck by a disaster, the council could place the whole province under a state of calamity.
The towns of Santa Barbara, Dueñas, Calinog, and Estancia were the first four placed under this state. Iloilo has 44 municiplaities and has a total population of 2.1 million including Iloilo City, of which 30 has already experienced the adverse effects of dry spell.
Many farmers are deeply impacted by the calamity, with losses in Western Visayas’ rice and corn production ballooning to P1.6 billion already, as per the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) said that present El Niño phenomenon can be compared to the drought from years 1997 to 1998, where 70 percent of the country was heavily affected.