Iloilo City

Iloilo declares state of calamity amid drought 

Erwin Delilan

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Iloilo declares state of calamity amid drought 

SCARCITY. A resident fetches whatever water he can get from a well in Iloilo.

Arnold Almacen/Iloilo City Mayor's Office

The Iloilo City government plans to buy water to ration to 23,000 people from 25 barangays

BACOLOD, Philippines – Iloilo City was placed under a state of calamity due to drought brought about by the El Niño phenomenon.

The city council, in a special session on Monday morning, April 22, approved the recommendation of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and Mayor Jerry Treñas to place the entire city under a state of calamity due to a water supply crisis and rising temperatures.

The declaration of a state of calamity, said Treñas, will allow the city government to utilize its quick response fund (QRF) to address water scarcity and provide aid to those affected by the drought.

DRYING UP. A well drying up in Iloilo City. Iloilo City Mayor’s Office

He said the city government would buy more potable water from suppliers South Balibago Resources Incorporated and Metro Pacific Iloilo Water to be rationed to at least 23,000 people from 25 barangays in the city affected by protable water supply scarcity.

He said 17% of the city’s population has already been affected by the dry weather condition and scorching heat.

The CDRRMC has recommended the use od P12.5 million for the emergency procurement of potable water.

Meanwhile, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 6 reported that more areas in Western Visayas have also been declared under a state of calamity due to the weather conditions.

Adding to the previous list that included Sara in Iloilo, Kabankalan City, and San Enrique in Negros Occidental, and the whole of Antique province are now the towns of Buenavista and San Lorenzo in Guimaras, and Estancia in Iloilo.

Antique registered at least P213 million in losses in agri-fishery and even livelihood sectors.

Aside from Kabankalan, which is the hardest-hit local government in the province, incurring more or less P40 million in agricultural losses due to El Niño, only 11 out of 32 local governments Negros Occidental reported severe impacts in their respective localities.

These include Cauayan, Hinoba-an, Ilog, Murcia, Hinigaran, Moises Padilla, Isabela Valladolid, Binalbagan, Himamaylan City, and Sipalay City.

OCD-VI Director Raul Fernandez said a state of calamity may be declared if at least 15% of a locality’s population has been affected, 30% of livelihood has been impacted.

He said the declaration may be made if agri-fishery and crucial infrastructures or lifeline facilities are damaged, and if there is a notable disruption in essential services in food supply chains, electricity, water, transportation, communication, and health access.

The extent of the degradation of environmental and natural resources is also one of the bases. –

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