State of calamity up in 3 Negros Oriental LGUs

At least three local government units (LGUs) in Negros Oriental have  declared a state of calamity due to agricultural losses and damages induced by the El Niño phenomenon.

 Adrian Sedillo, executive director of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), on Tuesday, April 23,  said the  three LGUs are Bayawan City, Sta. Catalina, and Mabinay.

Mabinay town was the latest LGU to make the declaration on Tuesday, while the two other LGUs placed their areas under a state of calamity during  the weekend.

“Following the declaration of a state of calamity by the three LGUs, the provincial government can now also do the same for the entire province of Negros Oriental based on existing guidelines,” Sedillo said.

He added that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Memorandum No. 60 Series of 2019 stipulates that when two or more LGUs are affected by a disaster, the provincial board could declare a state of calamity.

The PDRRM Council, chaired by Governor Manuel Sagarbarria, has already recommended to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to declare Negros Oriental province under a state of calamity.

Sedillo said the move will allow LGUs and the provincial government to use their Quick Response Fund to cushion the negative impacts of the El Niño-triggered drought.

Sagarbarria noted that the province has not recorded any health incident related to El Niño so far.

As of April 18, the Department of Agriculture-Provincial Agriculture Technology Coordinating Office (DA-PATCO) reported that agricultural production loss had reached P229.881 million.

The damage crops include rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock, and fisheries.*PNA

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