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Nation

State of calamity in Basilan over rubber tree disease

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Basilan has been placed under a state of calamity due to a disease affecting rubber tree plantations in the province.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved a resolution declaring a state of calamity on Monday upon the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

PDRRMC chairman and Basilan Gov. Jim Hataman-Salliman said data provided by the provincial agriculture office and Philippine Rubber Research Institute showed that the rubber tree disease has affected 10 to 90 percent of rubber tree plantations in the province.

Scientists and experts have expressed concern that the disease may affect nearby areas.

The disease was initially detected in 1,000 hectares of rubber tree plantations.

“If this (infestation) is not arrested, it will have a very big impact on the economy. Initially, our action is the declaration of a state of calamity. I will communicate it to the national government and the regional government for intervention,” Salliman said.

Basilan is among the largest rubber-producing provinces in the country.

STATE OF CALAMITY

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