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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, April 15, 2016
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Politics delays aid
to El Niño victims

Bureaucracy and politics have been blamed for the delay in the release of assistance to the victims of the El Niño weather phenomenon and when politics mixes with the agriculture problem, it further worsens, Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, said last night.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has warned that the effect of El Niño will get worse in the coming days, and that 30 provinces in the country may experience severe drought this month.

Negros Oriental is the among the 30 provinces in the country that may experience severe drought, based on the assessment of PAGASA.

If the government, which has a budget for El Nino effects, will not be able to help the affected farmers, Villar said it should resort to cash for work, by giving jobs to the victims.

But Villar also said the government is doing its utmost to address the problem.

PAGASA reports indicated that not only will there be water shortage, but also manifestations of pests proliferating, and plants and animals will experience stress, as well as the people.

Of the more than P220.1 million of damages to valued crops and production losses, 6,174 hectares of land and 7,063 farmers were affected, reports of the Office of the Provincial Agriculture in Negros Occidental said.*GPB



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