El Nino puts another Iloilo town under state of calamity


The damage caused by the El Nino phenomenon to the agriculture sector in Bingawan town in Iloilo has prompted officials there to declare a state of calamity.

In a special session last March 25, Bingawan’s town council agreed to place the municipality under a state of calamity upon the request of Mayor Mark Palabrica.

With the declaration of a state of calamity, Palabrica said they can access the calamity fund worth P3,455,264.08 to rehabilitate affected sectors (

Palabrica noted nearly all sectors from agriculture, livestock, and fisheries have been suffering great losses due to the long dry spell.

He added animals like hens and even tilapia and other inland freshwater fishes were lost because of extreme heat.

The mayor said the agriculture there sustained total losses of at least P53,172,976, including:

* rice worth P37,947,976
* corn worth P1,719,300
* livestock worth P380,700
* fisheries worth P3,000,125

The mayor said more than 25 small farm reservoirs have also been affected.

With the state of calamity, Palabrica said the local government has laid down eight mitigating measures. These include:

* extending immediate relief operations to affected farmers and their families by purchasing rice for their consumption
* supplying potable water to affected households
* operation and improvement of water systems
* purchase of rice seeds and vegetable seeds to be distributed to affected farmers and all affected population
* seminars and trainings on agriculture and provision of irrigation facilities and equipment
* construction and rehabilitation of damaged small farm reservoirs
* improvement of farm-to-market roads going to small farm reservoirs
* purchase of influenza, hypertension and other medicines
* availability of fuel and ambulance for emergencies
* proactive implementation of security measures against burglary and other crimes due to the inadequacy of household and personal income
* fire prevention

The town is also activating Disaster Risk Reduction Management Operations Center 24/7, and holding information and dissemination campaigns on the effects of El Niño.