Drought damages P15M worth of farm lands in Iligan

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/29 April) — The El Niño phenomenon has severely affected this city’s agriculture sector, causing damage to farm lands to the tune of P15 million and affecting 4,000 farmers

City agriculture officer Octavio Molo said about 2,000 hectares of farm lands in 23 of Iligan’s 44 barangays have been damaged. Affected crops are rice, corn, coconut, bananas and high value commercial crops

He said the city government will soon conduct relief operations for affected families.

Molo said the local government will provide 10 water pumps, seeds for rice, corn and other crops, as well as organic and commercial fertilizers.

There is hope, though, as rains have come to the city in the past few days.

The El Niño has also affected the water level at Lake Lanao, which supplies water to the Agus River where six hydroelectric plants are situated. This has caused rotational brownouts all over Mindanao.

Some government agencies, commercial centers, hotels, and hospitals here have purchased their own power generators to meet demand for electricity.

The National Disaster Coordinating Center (NDCC) has mentioned in its report that in Region X, it is anticipating massive lay-off of employees or shortened work hours and reduced tax collection because of the drought and the subsequent energy shortage

Glenn J. Rabonza, executive officer of NDCC, said that the Department of Labor and Employment in Region X submitted an action plan to central office proposing for a one month food-for-work program for wage workers who will be laid-off, and the provision of livelihood starter kits for carpentry and masonry in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Agency. (Violeta M. Gloria / MindaNews)