The Cebu Provincial Government on Thursday, March 28, rolled out its intervention response for affected local government units (LGUs) following the Cebu Provincial Board’s declaration placing the entire province under the State of Calamity last Monday.
During the coordination meeting, Capitol department heads and representatives of different government agencies thoroughly discussed the disbursement of the P59 million quick response fund (QRF) to ensure the protection of the livelihood and safety of drought-affected farmers and fisherfolks. Of the P59 million, P20-P25 million will initially be used to respond to El Niño calamity.
Earlier this week, Cebu Gov. Hilario P. Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale have ordered all Capitol departments to closely monitor the El Niño situation in Cebu and to immediately craft response plans for the affected sectors.
Attending the implementation strategy meeting were the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, Provincial Agriculture’s Office, Provincial Veterinarian’s Office, Provincial General Services Office, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Provincial Information Office, Provincial Planning and Development Office, and the Provincial Budget Office.
PDDRMO head Baltazar Tribunalo said that as of today, March 27, there are already 29 local government units (LGUs) that have submitted its assessment and damage report, including the City of Carcar where around 15,000 stocks of Tilapia fingerlings in Barangays Calidngan, Bolinawan and Guadalupe died due to the hot weather.
The cities that have reported damages are: Mandaue, Danao, Carcar and Toledo, while the towns are: Asturias, Alcantara, Aloguinsan, Alcoy, Argao, Balamban, Dumanjug, Sogod, Dalaguete, San Remegio, Sibonga, Tuburan, Tabuelan, Daanbantayan, Medellin, Bantayan, Carmen, Madridejos, Santa Fe, Consolacion, Compostela, Boljoon and Minglanilla.
Last Monday, at least 27 LGUs have declared to have suffered damages and losses, which in total has reached an estimated amount of P100 million, according to Tribunalo.
Of the estimated amount, P25 million is on agricultural damage, specifically on corn produce, he added.
Alcantara town also reported that 75 percent of the 4,000 Tilapia fingerlings died due to the rising temperature in sea weather.
According to the latest report of the Provincial Agriculture’s Office, some 300 hectares of seaweed farm in Bantayan and 50 hectares in Sta Fe, in northern Cebu, suffered around P28 million worth of damage.
Since 2015, the Capitol and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has provided 14,000 farmers and fishers with commodity and life insurance through the Agri-Fishery Insurance Program (AFIP).
With this program, insured farmers and fishermen in Cebu Province can benefit around millions worth of claims for their crops and commodities damaged by the drought.
With the onset of El Nino, Davide has supported the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) where land tillers were trained to plant alternative crops and other varieties that can sustain the hot weather.
Under the Capitol-sponsored insurance scheme, covered farmers and fishermen affected by the effects of El Niño may claim their insurance from PCIC bringing along the proof of damage to their crops and commodities.
Part of the Capitol’s intervention measure includes the move to rent water tanks that will be utilized to conduct water rations in priority affected areas that includes the towns of Argao and Dalaguete.
Cesar Villaflor of Department of Public Works and Highway 7 assured that the agency’s heavy equipment will be ready for any deployment, while the DRRM officers and Philippine Red Cross seeks for the specific location of affected areas for emergency mobilization.
The body, which includes Joel Elumba, Regional technical director of Department of Agriculture(DA) 7; and Sheba Dahoy of DSWD 7, also agreed to conduct a second round of data gathering operations, together with the representatives from the regional offices to determine the extent of the damage caused by El Nino phenomenon.
Eugene Carbera, regional director of Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 7, said they have to work together in order to prevent the redundancy of interventions from other agencies.