Reynaldo Legaste, South Cotabato agriculture officer, said he dispatched some of their personnel to farming areas in the province’s 10 municipalities and lone city to check on possible damages to agricultural crops.
“Our field workers are already monitoring the situation. Initially, there were reported flooding in several areas but we did not receive any report of significant damage to crops so far,” he said.
He said palay farmlands in the towns of Polomolok, Tantangan and Koronadal City were among those affected by the floods.
A report from the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) cited that at least P5 million worth of agricultural crops and infrastructure were damaged in Polomolok town due to flashfloods earlier this month.
Heide Lacdo-o, PDCC action officer, said the floods reportedly destroyed an irrigation facility and eventually triggered floodwaters to swell towards pineapple, corn and palay farmlands in the area.
She said the municipal government of Polomolok already declared the entire town under a state of calamity.
Lacdo-o said the PDCC may seek the declaration of the entire province under a state of calamity if two more municipalities will make the same declaration.
“We are still waiting for the report from the affected areas like Tantangan and the other towns,” she said.
Under the law, an entire province may be placed under the state of calamity if three or more municipalities declare their areas as such.
A state of calamity allows local government units to utilize their calamity fund which constitutes five percent of their annual budgets.
Last week, a portion of Koronadal City’s main commercial district was submerged in floodwaters due to the swelling of the Bulok Creek that traverses the heart of the city.
The floods affected the city hall building, several business establishments along Alunan Avenue and the city’s main public market.
The floods also affected several farmlands in the city and nearby villages of Tantangan town. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)