Due to a long dry spell caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon, the provincial government of Davao Oriental has put the entire province under state of calamity.

Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon cited a report by the Provincial Agriculture Office that showed an extensive damage to agricultural products and livestocks in ten municipalities and one city of the province.

“It is evident that even until to date, the province is experiencing tremendous dry spell brought about by the El Nino phenomenon, causing damages to our economy and ecology… Furthermore, reports from the Provincial Agriculture Office confirm the substantial damages to our agricultural products province-wide,” says Governor Malanyaon.

The provincial government says a total of 3,870 farming families in the province were severely affected by the long dry spell. The severe weather phenomenon has already damaged more than 3,000 hectares of agricultural lands. The provincial government has initially placed the amount of damage at P42.1 million.

At least four local government units have earlier declared a state of calamity. These are the City of Mati and the municipalities of Tarragona, San Isidro and Lupon.

“Projected by major weather stations/bureaus here and abroad as potentially among the strongest, the effects of what is said to be a still-growing El Nino condition is now being felt in our province especially the searing heat and the dry condition, this event will certainly be difficult to bear,” says Governor Malanyaon.

The Local Government Code of 1991 states that the five percent calamity fund can be used by the local government units for relief, rehabilitation and other works or services in connection with calamities which may occur during the budget year, provided that there is a Sanggunian resolution declaring a state of calamity over the province, city or municipality.

The governor says that with the declaration of state of calamity, the provincial government can now fast track the provision of much-needed assistance for the affected residents, most especially the farmers and their families, like various foodstuffs, emergency employment and livelihood.


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