Drought, hoppers damage P58-M crops in Pampanga

Delta readies P51M for El Niño response

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Pampanga Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) on Tuesday approved the realignment of P20 million to respond to the impact of El Niño, raising the budget to assist farmers, fishermen and livestock growers to P51 million, PDRRM Office chief Angelina Blanco said.

El Niño refers to the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. [SOURCE: National Geographic Society]

In a report to Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda, provincial agriculturist Jimmy Manliclic said the drought and its related effects have affected 814 farmers tilling 1,230 hectares, with damaged crops amounting P57.5 million.

The drought in particular affected 158 farmers cultivating 254.8 hectares, reporting the damages at P7.6 million in Mexico, Minalin, Apalit, Macabebe and Sta. Rita towns.

Manliclic said “drought stress also weakens crops, making them more susceptible to pest infestations.” He said the brown plant hopper (BPH) wrought havoc in 33 barangays in San Luis, Mexico, Sta. Ana, Candaba, San Simon, Apalit and Floridablanca, affecting 656 farmers growing crops in 975.2 hectares. The damages reached P49.9 million.

“Total damages due to El Niño-related problems in the province is currently estimated at around P57.45 million,” Manliclic said.

The El Nino response fund consists of a total of P31 million from the PDRRMC and P20 million from the 20-percent Development Fund, said Blanco, also the Special Assistant to the Governor.

Cooperatives can receive fuel and electric subsidies, she said.

Governor Pineda assured support to the local agricultural sector. “Nakahanda po ang inyong provincial government sa pagtulong sa mga maaapektuhan ng tagtuyot. P51 milyon po ang inisyal na pondo. I’m sure po susuportahan po ako ng Sangguniang Panlalawigan sakaling mangailangan pa ng dagdag na pondo.” END

EL NIÑO. The Pampanga Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) approves the realignment of P20 million budget to respond to the impact of El Niño during the PDRRMC 1st quarter meeting on Tuesday, March 5. ( Photos by: Daniel Ombina/ Pampanga PIO)

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