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Nation

Davao region under state of calamity due to El Niño

The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A state of calamity has been declared in several areas in the Davao region due to the dry spell.

The municipal councils of Kapalong and Sto. Tomas and Panabo City in Davao del Norte; Mati City and Tarragona, Lupon and San Isidro towns in Davao Oriental; Montevista in Compostela Valley, as well as Hagonoy in Davao del Sur recently passed resolutions declaring a state of calamity in their respective areas. 

In Davao City, where many farmlands have not been irrigated for several months, the city government is also mulling the declaration of a state of calamity.

The drought has resulted in millions of pesos in damage to agriculture, officials said. 

Remelyn Recoter, Department of Agriculture regional director, said the Bureau of Soils and Water Management would conduct cloud-seeding operations for at least one hour per day in the affected areas.

Iloilo

In Iloilo, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council unanimously approved a resolution on Thursday recommending the declaration of a state of calamity in the province due to El Niño.

A state of calamity was earlier declared in the towns of Santa Barbara, Dueñas, Calinog and Estancia. A state of water crisis was also declared in Iloilo City.

With the declaration of the state of calamity, the province can use 20 percent of its calamity funds as well as 30 percent of quick response funds to mitigate the effects of the dry spell particularly on farmers.

Ildefonso Toledo, head of the provincial agriculture office, said 81,592 metric tons of rice had so far been damaged and 32,800 hectares of farmlands had been affected by El Niño.

Magat Dam

Meanwhile, the water level in Magat Dam continues to drop due to extreme heat and lack of rain. 

Wilfredo Gloria, operations manager of the National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Integrated Irrigations System, said the dam’s water level yesterday was at 170.19 meters. 

Gloria said the water level should not be less than 180 meters for it to be able to irrigate at least 80,000 hectares of farmlands in Isabela and parts of Quirino and Cagayan. 

“We have not recorded any rainfall within the Magat watershed since April 1. The dam’s water inflow is now 29.25 cubic meters per second... our tributary rivers also dropped below the normal level,” he said. – With Jennifer Rendon, Victor Martin

 

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