Zamboanga City, 12 towns in North Cotabato under state of calamity due to dry spell

Robie de Guzman   •   March 6, 2019   •   3138

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The City Council on Tuesday, March 5, approved a resolution placing Zamboanga City under a state of calamity due to a dry spell caused by a weak El Niño phenomenon.

In a report on UNTV News and Rescue’s Good Morning Kuya program by Dante Amento, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) Chief Dr. Elmeir Apolinario said the resolution was based on their recommendation after drought affected crops, irrigation for rice fields and water supply in the city.

“We are now under state of calamity by reason of, isa ‘yung advisory ng DOST-PAGASA na weak El Niño and of course, yung facts naman on the ground na there is a water resources problem sa City of Zamboanga. And of course, sa agriculture sector and other sector,” Apolinario said.

The Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) has recently implemented water rationing operations after its daily production declined by 50 percent, from 158 million liters to 80 million liters.

The local agriculturist office, meanwhile, reported that a total of 600 hectares of rice fields have been hit by the dry spell.

With the state of calamity declaration, government agencies can now use the calamity fund to implement mitigating measures, such as cloud seeding operations and leasing of tanks for water distribution, and to procure alternative crops and drilling rigs for affected sectors.

The Zamboanga CDRRMO said P13 million has been allotted for cloud seeding operations while the City Agriculturist office has P20 million to aid drought-affected farmers.

“We are looking at ways forward on how to help our water district in terms of distribution ng tubig, in terms of finding other sources, in terms of having ‘yung mga drilling rigs. Mayroon tayong mga alternative crops, mga vegetables na pwedeng ipamigay sa mga farmers,” Apolinario said.

Meanwhile, 12 towns in North Cotabato have also been placed under state of calamity due to the prevailing heat.

According to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), the affected towns are Carmen, Pikit, Aleosan, Midsayap, Matalam, M’lang, Alamada, Tulunan, Kabacan, Libungan and Pigcawayan.

Local disaster officials have already recommended to the provincial board level the inducement of artificial rain through cloud seeding as well as the procurement of water pumps and other assistance to farmers to save their remaining crops. – Robie de Guzman

PH state of calamity due to COVID-19 crisis extended for one year

Robie de Guzman   •   September 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday extended the period of the state of calamity declared in the country due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under Proclamation No. 1021, which was signed on Sept. 16, Duterte extended the state of calamity declaration for one year, effective Sept. 13, 2020 to Sept. 12, 2021 “unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant.”

The president first declared the Philippines under a state of calamity on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it already expired as it was only for a period of six months.

Duterte said the extension will effectively afford the national government, as well as local government units, ample latitude to continue utilizing appropriate funds, including Quick Response Funds, in their disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

He added that it would also help in monitoring and controlling prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and provide basic services to the affected populations.

The chief executive also enjoined government agencies and local government units to “continue rendering full assistance to and cooperation with each other and mobilize necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate disaster response aid and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the threat of COVID-19.”

Duterte also directed the military and other law enforcement agencies to “continue undertaking all necessary measures to ensure peace and order in affected areas, as may be necessary.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to extend PH state of calamity declaration amid pandemic – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to extend the declaration of a state of calamity in the country amid the continuing threat of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Malacañang said Thursday, September 17.

The Philippines is under a six-month state of calamity declared by Duterte last March 16 as he placed Luzon under community quarantine to curb the spread of the virus.

The declaration enabled the government to use quick response funds to deal with the public health crisis.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said a document on the extension has already been forwarded to the Office of the President and is expected to be signed by Duterte.

“Definitely, it’s in the desk of the president, probably signed by now,” he said.

The country has so far recorded a total of 276,289 COVID-19 cases, of which 63,408 are active.

The total number of reported recoveries is at 208,096 while the number of fatalities is 4,785. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Fishermen rescued in sea waters off Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2020

Five fishermen were rescued on Monday (September 14) by navy troops in the sea waters off San Mateo Point, Sinunuc, Zamboanga City.

The navy troops, onboard BA492, noticed four fishermen standing on a boat that capsized due to bad weather.

After rescuing the four, the troops were informed that the boat master was still inside the capsized boat.

The boat master was recovered and rushed to the Zamboanga City Medical Center. He was declared dead on arrival due to Asphyxiation secondary to accidental drowning.

“We provided the necessary assistance to the victims of the sea mishap and communicated with their respective families,” said Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, Commander, Naval Forces Western Mindanao.

The Philippine Navy extends their sympathy to the family of the boat master identified as 55-year-old Enricky Brocka. The Navy also assured they will provide assistance to victims of the accident. -AAC

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