Cebu City declares state of calamity; P13.4M crops lost, water supply declines
CEBU CITY — The Cebu City Council declared a state of calamity on Wednesday after the prolonged drought destroyed P13.4 million worth of crops and reduced the city’s water supply in residential areas.
The declaration stemmed from the recommendation of Councilor Dave Tumulak, head of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCDRRMC).
“We’re expecting the damage to still increase also based on PAGASA’s (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s) pronouncement that the El Niño (phenomenon) will continue until late May,” Tumulak said in an interview.
In a report submitted by City Agriculturist Joelito Baclayon to the city council, the dry spell either destroyed or damaged at least P13.4 million worth of crops planted in 87.4 hectares of land in the city’s 28 mountain barangays (cvillages).
Of the 87.4 hectares, the crops planted in four hectares were destroyed by the drought while the rest were damaged, affecting 317 farmers.
These included string beans, cauliflower, sweet corn, eggplant, tomato, ampalaya, hot pepper, lettuce and cutflower.
“This is still a partial report. There’s still a possibility that it (drought) can still worsen. We will also conduct another evaluation later this month,” Baclayon said in an interview.
He said scattered rains were experienced on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in the mountain barangay of Guba and some parts of the north district.
Aside from damage to crops, the drought also affected the supply of water in all 80 barangays of Cebu City.
Some suppliers like the Pilipinas Water Resources Inc. (PWRI) promised to give their excess water for free to affected residents.
Water tankers from the city’s different barangays will be sent to PWRI’s plant at the South Road Properties (SRP) where they have a daily excess production of 8,000 cubic meters of water. SFM
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