The Provincial Agriculturist Office (OPA) does not see any reason (yet) to declare the Province of Palawan in a state of calamity because of El Niňo due to low impact of drought to farmlands, according to Provincial Agriculturist Franquito B. Paduga.
Based on the latest data of the OPA, out of the 43, 000 hectares of rice fields in the province, there are only about 7,700 hectares considered as ‘damaged’ due to El Niño.
“In terms of food production naman kasi, hindi tayo naapektuhan. Yung na-damage, second season na kumbaga,” Paduga said.
He also said that some of the farmers already knew the threat of El Niňo since last quarter of 2015 and yet they (farmers) still gamble to plant crops expecting that there will still be rain despite the dry season.
Paduga however clarified that his statement is in a general perspective, adding that it is a case-to-case basis and depends on the actual situation in a certain municipality.
“Hindi pa talaga kinakailangan province-wide, depende sa munisipyo,” he said.
On April 11, the Sangguniang Bayan of Taytay already declared their municipality under a state of calamity. Based on the reports gathered by Palawan News from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, 23 out of 31 barangays in Taytay are greatly affected by the drought. This translates to 5,277 hectares of planted crops, particularly palay.
Mr. Paduga said that as of press time, other municipalities that might possibly declare a state of calamity are the municipalities of Sofronio Espaňola, Bataraza and Roxas.