Agriculture damage in six regions as a result of El Niño has already reached P2.2 billion, with Soccsksargen suffering the most, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
The amount of damage to rice, corn and other high-value crops per region is as follows:
- Soccsksargen - P808.6 million
- Bicol - P793.9 million
- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao - P403.3 million
- Mimaropa - P192.5 million
- Western Visayas - P76.3 million
- Calabarzon - P12.7 million
NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad said the National Capital Region and Zamboanga Peninsula were also affected by the El Nino though there are no damage reported yet.
Based on NDRRMC records, 16 provinces, towns and cities have already declared stated of calamity due to the dry spell since February 11, with Datu Abdullah Sangki in Mindanao the latest to do so on March 13.
Jalad, the concurrent Office of Civil Defense administrator, said the NDRRMC is continuously monitoring the effects of to El Niño and sending advisories to the public through its its regional offices.
Assisting the NDRRMC, which is based in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, is the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which disseminates information and education campaign materials, preparedness actions, responses and plans to its regional offices and local government units.
Also helping the NDRRMC is the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which has earmarked P1.2 billion in standby funds that will be used to assist people who will be affected by the drought. —KBK, GMA News