ILOILO province has lost more or less P1.026-billion worth of rice crops as of March 31, 2019 due to the prolonged dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon.
Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Elias Sandig said the value is equivalent to 62,791 metric tons (MT) of rice .
“27, 063 hectares (has.) are affected by the phenomenon, 7, 495 has. of which are totally damaged and 19, 568 has. are partially damaged,” he reported.
The estimated damage was based on reports submitted to the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) by 42 local government units (LGUs) across the province, including one component and one chartered city, Sandig said.
Sandig added that 5,000 has. of rice crops planted in January to March are at risk because of El Niño.
“We expect the number to increase because there are still rice crops that were planted from January to March. Hopefully, it will survive,” he said.
As of now, Sandig said they are still waiting if the province will be placed under a state of calamity.
The municipality of Bingawan was first to declare a state of calamity in March.
Mayor Mark Palabrica said their total losses is already at P53 million, affecting almost all the sectors of their municipality from agriculture, livestock, and fisheries.
Sandig said they are still updating their master list of the affected municipalities to be submitted to the Department of Agriculture (DA)-6 for validation.