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

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

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

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Two more years for Zamboanga City full recovery from 2013 siege — local officials

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

REUTERS FILE PHOTO: These members of Philippine Army wait for an opportunity to shoot against the MNLF forces on the ongoing siege in Zamboanga City.

Local officials in Zamboanga City said it will take two years for the full recovery of Zamboanga City after the 2013 siege.

There are still over 1,000 unfinished housing for the victims. Local officials said there was difficulty in getting land which delayed construction.

According to Rodrigo Pagotaisidro, Officer-in-charge, Housing and Land Management Division, full recovery in Zamboanga city would take two more years.

“In the next two years it has to be completed not only the housing construction but also the power, water, the sewer, and the footbridges,” he said.

Among the unfinished projects under the Zamboanga City Road Map include the reconstruction and recovery of the bridge in Barangay Rio Hondo.

“All wooden footbridges needing immediate repair has been recommended for repair or rehabilitation by converting to more permanent and concrete footbridges,” Pagotaisidro adds.

Based on the data of the city government there are 6,341 fully constructed housing, 5,112 were already turned over to the beneficiaries while 1,229 are still under construction.(with reports from Dante Amento)

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Agri damage almost P8-B due to El Niño—NDRRMC

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported almost P8 billion worth of agricultural damage due to El Niño.

The NDRRMC’s report, released on Friday (May 3), estimated that agricultural damages went up to P7.962 billion. The affected areas include Regions CAR, I, II, III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, Vl, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII and BARMM.

READ: More areas under state of calamity due to effects of El Niño

There are currently 43 local government that declared a state of calamity due to the severe drought.

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El Niño damage to agriculture hits P8-B

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) latest data showed damage and losses from the persistent weak El Niño to have reached P7.96 billion.

This covers damage in 277,890 hectares of agricultural areas that has affected 247,610 farmers and fisherfolks.

Crops that suffered the most damage were rice (with volume loss recorded at 191,761MT or P4.04B) and corn (with volume loss at 254,766MT or P3.89B).

The affected regions include Cordilleras, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

But according to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, the said amount of damage is only less than one percent of the 20-million MT expected production of palay this year and 3% of the 8.64-million MT target in corn production.

“Ang El Niño less than 1% ang damage to our rice crops. That’s why this year, we are still projecting that we will harvest a record harvest of 20-million metric tons. That will be the highest target,” Piñol said during an interview in the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Friday (April 26).

Cloud seeding operations are now ongoing in drought-affected areas. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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