State of Calamity in South Cotabato

Another South Cotabato town declares state of calamity due to drought; province mulls similar declaration

KORONADAL CITY – Another town in South Cotabato has declared a state of calamity as the long dry spell continues to wreak havoc in the town’s agriculture sector, officials said Friday.

On Thursday, the Sangguniang Bayan of Tantangan, South Cotabato passed a resolution putting the town under state of calamity in response to recommendations of the town’s disaster office.

The provincial government of South Cotabato, meanwhile, is mulling putting the entire province under state of calamity as the drought has damaged almost PHP300 million worth of crops.

Tantangan was the third LGU that declared a state of calamity in the province. Earlier, Koronadal City, and the towns of T’boli and Surallah, made the same declaration as the dry spell continued to damage agricultural products.

In an emergency meeting Friday, South Cotabato Governor Daisy Fuentes who also chairs the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), urged the provincial council to put the province under state calamity as damages to crops reached more than PHP285 million.

Province-wide, the drought destroyed more than 11,000 hectares planted to palay, corn and other high value crops.Affected are more than 9,300 farm families.

The provincial board is expected to decide on the PDRRM recommendations on Monday to allow the province to use its calamity fund to cushion the impact of the long dry spell.

In nearby North Cotabato province, the drought destroyed almost PHP1 billion worth of crops, affecting more than 10,000 families, according to Engr. Eliseo Mangliwan, provincial agriculture officer. (PNA)

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