With agri losses reaching P1B, Iloilo province placed under state of calamity

Erwin Delilan

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With agri losses reaching P1B, Iloilo province placed under state of calamity

SIGN. Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. signs a document in his capitol office.

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The damage to agriculture across Iloilo province reaches P1.025 billion as of May 14

BACOLOD, Philippines – With agricultural losses soaring past the billion-peso mark, Iloilo province found itself in the grips of a dire crisis, forcing the provincial government to declare a state of calamity on Tuesday, May 14.

Iloilo is the second province in Western Visayas after Antique to be declared under a state of calamity due to the El Niño phenomenon, Raul Fernandez, director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the region, said on Wednesday, May 15.

As of Tuesday, a report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) showed that damage to agriculture across the province had already amounted to P1.025 billion. 

It was on April 29 when the PDRRMC recommended to Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. the declaration of a state of calamity.

With this declaration, Cornelio Salinas, head of PDRRMC, told Rappler that they can now begin utilizing a P75-million budget for measures to cushion the impact of El Niño in the province. 

Even before the May 14 declaration approved by the provincial board, 11 towns and a city in Iloilo province had already been placed under a state of calamity due to sweltering heat, leading to the drying up of vast agricultural lands. The localities are:

  • Sara
  • Estancia
  • Bingawan
  • Balasan
  • Dingle
  • Lemery
  • San Dionisio
  • Banate
  • Barotac Viejo
  • Ajuy
  • Mina
  • Passi City

Meanwhile, Fernandez said the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has already committed to providing assistance to local governments in Western Visayas worst-hit by the El Niño phenomenon. 

Fernandez said officials of three provinces in the region — Iloilo, Guimaras, and Antique — have appealed for rice assistance from the OCD for distribution to their respective El Niño-affected constituents.

“We are now consolidating our quick response fund to ramp up aid distribution to the affected localities in the region,” Fernandez said. 

He said the OCD has asked the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to provide helicopters for the distribution of relief goods to secluded areas affected by El Niño in Region VI, especially in Antique province. –

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