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Saturday, May 18, 2024

1.7-M Pinoys affected by El Niño, agri damage at P3.9B

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Some 1.7 million individuals have been affected by the El Niño phenomenon, which has resulted in close to P4 billion in damage and losses to the country’s agriculture sector.

DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said the affected individuals are in Regions 2, 3, Mimaropa, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12 and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

“The DSWD is distributing family food packs. This is part of the humanitarian response in areas affected by El Niño, especially for families experiencing lack of food due to severe drought,” she said.

DSWD has already distributed more than P58 million worth of family food packs in the affected areas, Dumlao said.

According to the Department of Agriculture, damage on rice crops accounted for more than half of the total losses or at least P2.36 billion.

Damage on high value crops and corn were placed at nearly P868 million and P669 million, respectively while losses in the fisheries sector were valued at P33.83 million and in livestock and poultry at P6.95 million.

Of the 11 regions that sustained agriculture damage, among the hardest hit were MIMAROPA and Western Visayas.

Meanwhile, Dumlao said the DSWD has Project Lawa and Project Binhi which aim to help El Niño-affected communities have access to water and food.

Beneficiaries of the projects are provided with temporary income via the cash-for-training and cash-for-work components.

“They are assisted in building water cisterns or small farm reservoirs, which are sized 20 by 24 square meters and 50 feet deep, that can be used as water sources for their farms. The Department of Agriculture provides technical expertise,” she said.

Under the pilot program of the two projects, small farm reservoirs were already constructed in Ifugao, Antique, and Davao.

The DSWD also has the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) Program for additional support, she said.


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