12 towns, P300-M crops affected by dry spell in NoCot

By Noel Punzalan

March 5, 2019, 8:03 pm

COTABATO CITY -- The low amount of rainfall currently being experienced across North Cotabato province has already affected 12 towns and damaged an estimated PHP300-million worth of agricultural crops.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) officer, Arnulfo Villaruz, identified the affected towns as Carmen, Pikit, Aleosan, Midsayap, Matalam, M’lang, Alamada, Tulunan, Matalam, Kabacan, Libungan, and Pigcawayan.

Villaruz said four of the affected towns -- M’lang, Alamada, Aleosan, and Pikit -- have been placed under a state of calamity due to the prevailing heat believed to be brought by the biennial effect of the drought-spawned El Niño phenomenon.

North Cotabato includes Kidapawan City and 17 towns in its area of jurisdiction. In 2016, the province lost more than PHP1 billion due to the ill effects of the extreme weather condition.

“Mitigating measures are underway for the procurement of water pumps and other assistance to farmers to save what is left of their existing crops,” Villaruz said over a local radio station Tuesday.

He said other recommendations include the inducement of artificial rain through cloud seeding that is yet being discussed in the provincial board level.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration earlier warned that the full-blown El Niño effect would be felt starting this month. (PNA)