Weak El Niño in Region 7 a State of Calamity?

The Provincial Board will deliberate on a resolution that seeks to declare the province under a state of calamity. The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 7 announced that some parts of the region that are affected by a weak El Niño. They are now using drones to monitor affected areas and finding the appropriate place to construct dams.

What is an El Niño?

El Niño typically happens late December and is characterized by an irregular series of climate change that affects the equatorial Pacific region. This can also affect the areas of the Pacific Coast in South America. The complex series of change involves an unusually warm climate, nutrient-poor waters, and droughting.

El Niño in Region 7

According to the DA 7 Technical Director Joel Elumba, the drones were flown in Bohol and Cebu last week. Spending Php 2 Million for renting drones, the DA 7 is able to locate droughting and appropriate places of dams. Part of the aerial survey was to determine what crops were affected by the weak El Niño heat.

Ninety hectares of farms in Central Visayas were affected by the heat. Seventy-eight (78) of the hectares are in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, while 2.3 hectares are in Balamban, Cebu. Some farms in Siquijor and Bohol were also affected by extreme heat.

Although the livestock industry has not reported any damage, Department of Agriculture Technical Director Joel Elumba suggested farmers to leash their livestock such as carabaos, cows, and goats in the shade after 9:00 am. He also suggested them to drink plenty of water to prevent hydration and other health problems.

Some parts of Cebu like Dalaguete town in the south, known as the “vegetable basket of Cebu,” is not experiencing much from the unusual hot climate. Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante said that their farmers still had sufficient supply of water.

Mayor Cesante also mentioned that while they had funds that could be used to help constituents whose livelihood might be affected by the weak El Niño, they remained hopeful that the town would not be placed under a state of calamity.

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