Seven barangays in the town of Roxas,Palawan have been reported attacked by swarms of field rats, in an infestation that an official blamed on climate change and human interference in the food chain.
Edgar Padul, municipal agriculture officer of Roxas town said that since September until October this year, many farmers are suffering from rat infestation. He said that the attack of rodents is caused by the El Niño Phenomenon being experienced in the country.
Data of MAO shows that rodents have damaged the following barangays with corresponding number of farmers affected: Brgy. Tagumpay-18 farmers, New Cuyo-94 farmers, San Nicolas-71 farmers, Tinitian-21 farmers, Magara-138 farmers, Nicanor Zabala-8 farmers and Salvacion-18 farmers. A total of 368 farmers are affected by the rat attacks in which the amount of damage is not yet determined.
The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office headed by Jerry Alili was quick to respond to the problems of the farmers of this town. They immediately purchased pesticides which they distributed to affected farmers.
The agriculture office of Roxas is apprehensive that the problem might get worse as drought continues to engulf the country.
Padul is calling the formers to visit their office for possible intervention to lessen if not eradicate the problem of rat infestation in their rice field.