The Sangguniang Panlalawigan yesterday passed a resolution declaring Negros Occidental under a state of calamity, which means the local government units in the province can now start using their calamity funds to address the impact of the El Niño phenomenon in their areas.
The SP, on motion of Board Member Pedro Zayco, chairperson of the SP committee on Natural Calamities and Disaster, concurred with the declaration of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council placing Negros Occidental under a state of calamity.
Zayco said the provincial government can now use 30 percent of its 5 Percent Calamity Fund, which is the Quick Response Fund equivalent to P40 million.
The 5 Percent Calamity Funds of Negros Occidental for 2016 is P133.5 million, of which 70 percent has been earmarked for its mitigation fund.
Zayco said the damage to agriculture, livestock and fisheries in Negros Occidental has already reached almost P400 million.
Four local government units in Negros Occidental, Sipalay City, Hinoba-an, Pontevedra and Hinigaran, have placed their areas under states of calamity. Of the 661 barangays in Negros Occidental, 136 have already been affected by the dry spell, Zayco said.
He also encouraged LGUs to use their calamity funds, before seeking the help of the provincial government, as they are bracing for a further increase in damage from the El Niño phenomenon.
Board Member Miller Serondo said there were complaints about delayed implementation of cloud-seeding operations, especially by the Department of Agriculture and the Sugar Regulatory Administration.*GPB
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