PAGASA: Drought to persist in Western Visayas until May

(Francis Allan L. Angelo photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor  

Drought conditions will continue to wreak havoc in the provinces of Western Visayas until May, according to the forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

PAGASA reported that the Western Visayas area will experience drought from April to May, except for Aklan, which will face a dry spell in April.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Antique is set to convene this week to discuss the possibility of declaring a state of calamity for the province.

This decision follows Sibalom and Anini-y declaring a state of calamity due to agricultural losses incurred from the El Niño phenomenon.

Based on the latest report of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), Antique reported a production loss of P130 million from 299 hectares of totally damaged croplands and 2,534 hectares that are partially damaged, affecting a total of 4,588 farmers.

In addition to the towns in Antique, the local governments of Sara in Iloilo and San Enrique in Negros Occidental have also declared a state of calamity on April 8 and 12, respectively.

Western Visayas reported over P770 million in agricultural damage and losses, the hardest-hit region in the country according to the national DRRMC.

Among the provinces in the region, Iloilo bore the brunt of El Nino’s impact with P519 million in losses in its agricultural industry.