Zamboanga City declares state of calamity due to El Niño

(The Philippine Star) - January 13, 2016 - 9:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The city government has declared a state of calamity due to the dry spell that has been affecting the agriculture sector.

The city council on Tuesday approved a resolution allowing the local government to release the needed funds to mitigate the effects of El Niño.

The declaration was based on the recommendations of the city disaster risk reduction and management council, Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said.

Salazar said the local water utility service imposed water rationing for 12 hours each day due to the dwindling supply.

The city agriculture office said the dry spell ruined several hectares of rice, corn and vegetable farms, with damage reaching P10.8 million.

Worms attack rice fields

Meanwhile, farmers in the upper valley area of South Cotabato, one of the rice-producing provinces in Central Mindanao, are appealing for help after worms attacked their crops.

Justina Navarete, chief of the provincial agriculture office, said they have yet to assess the damage brought by army worms in several villages in Norala town.

At least eight hectares of rice fields have reportedly been affected by the pest.

There are no reports yet of similar attacks on the lower valley area, but local agriculture experts are not discounting the possibility.

Army worms attack at night and hide during the day. They destroy every field in their path.

 “We told the farmers to use insecticide spray to annihilate the worms,” Navarete said.

ATILDE CENTRAL MINDANAO EL NI ISABELLE CLIMACO-SALAZAR JUSTINA NAVARETE MAYOR MA NAVARETE NORALA SALAZAR SOUTH COTABATO WORMS
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