The Iloilo Provincial Agriculture Office fears that the province's one million metric tons harvest target for rice will not be reached this year as more municipalities report rice crop damages due to the dry spell. (Photo by Gail Momblan)
ILOILO CITY -- Five more towns in Iloilo province reported losses due to the dry spell, the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) said.
Nancy Superal, Provincial Rice Report Officer of Iloilo province, said in an interview on Tuesday that the towns of Maasin, Miag-ao, Leganes, San Joaquin and Estancia have been added to the first 27 towns, which reported losses in February 23.
"Probably, Miag-ao and San Joaquin will report total damage," she said, adding that the PAO is still finalizing the total amount of damage in the additional five towns.
She said the PAO report for these five towns "has not been closed" because the agriculture office will still validate the previous reports and will assess the claims from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).
Superal said Miag-ao and San Joaquin are located in southern Iloilo, a "highly vulnerable area" that experiences the shortest rainy season in the province.
Other towns affected in southern Iloilo are Oton, Guimbal, Igbaras, Tigbauan, and Tubungan.
The towns of Leon, Alimodian, Badiangan, Janiuay, Pototan, Cabatuan, Mina, Anilao, Banate, Barotac Nuevo, Passi City, San Enrique, Dumangas, Dingle, Dueñas, San Rafael, Batad, Balasan, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Concepcion, and Lemery also reported damage to crops.
Superal expects more towns to report damages "because the entire province is affected."
She said each municipality is assigned with a rice report officer to render monthly report on planting and harvesting.
She advised farmers to wait for the rainy season before they plant rice.
With the present condition, Superal fears that Iloilo's one million metric tons harvest target for rice will not be met his year.
"That's why we ask our farmers that once the cropping start, they should maximize the technology and inputs they can use," she added. (PNA)