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PIA Press Release

DILG cites LGU interventions to combat dry spell

Manila (13 September) -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday underscored the key role played by the provincial governments of Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Nueva Ecija and Kalinga in carrying out massive relief and rehabilitation efforts to alleviate the plight of small farmers hit by the dry spell in Luzon.

Citing reports from the DILG regional offices of Region 1, 2, 3 and CAR, DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno said the relief efforts were part of the remedial measures and interventions made by local government units to address the problems encountered by farmers related to the dry spell.

Earlier, President Arroyo has tasked Puno to "lead the watch" over the national and local government efforts to prevent disasters and respond to calamities, assisted by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

To carry out the Presidential directive, the DILG chief has designated Undersecretary for Peace and Order Melchor Rosales, a former executive director of the NDCC, as head of the DILG task force that will "closely monitor and regularly publicize" the efforts of the national government and LGUs in providing aid to farmers and rural folk hit by the dry spell and heavy rains caused by typhoons.

DILG Region 1 reports indicated that the dry spell has damaged an estimated P1.57-million in agricultural crops, fisheries and livestock in the region, with Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan incurring the most damages; Region 2 incurred P577.7-M worth of damages, especially in the hardest-hit province of Cagayan; Region III with an estimated damage of P57.5-M, with Nueva Ecija taking the highest toll of damages; and CAR with P6.8-M in damages, with Kalinga experiencing the worst effects of the dry spell.

The same report also noted the measures undertaken by LGUs to address the problem of the dry spell such as in Ilocos Norte where 262 bags of palay and corn seeds were distributed to farmers in the towns of Banna, Carasi, Dumalneg, Sarrat, Vintar and Paoay; several sacks of fertilizer were given to 400 farmers in 49 barangays of Laoag City; and another 65 sacks were distributed in the towns of Banna, Carais, Sarrat and Vintar.

Other LGU interventions in the province include the distribution of ten water pumps to farmers in Bagui, Dumalneg and San Nicolas; rehabilitation and dredging of irrigation canals in Batac, Bacarra, Pagudpud, Burgos and Dingras; rehabilitation of small farm reservoirs and diversion dams in Solson and Batac; and distribution of relief goods to families in Bugos, Pinili, Laoag and Pasuquin.

In Pangasinan, hybrid rice, corn and vegetable seeds were distributed to farmers and affected families in San Quintin, Sison, Villasis, Alcala and Sta. Maria, and ten units of jetmatic pumps were provided to farmers in Rosales through farmer cooperatives.

In Cagayan, fertilizer and seed assistance were provided to farmers in Abulug, Alcala and Sta. Praxides; while the municipal council of Sta. Praxides passed a resolution declaring the town under the state of calamity and allocated P7-million for the purchase of seeds and fingerlings in time for the long drought.

On the other hand, the provincial disaster coordinating council (PDCC) of Nueva Ecija is now finalizing its Comprehensive Provincial Disaster Management and Preparedness Plan, and all city and municipal disaster coordinating councils (C/MDCCs) are currently being reorganized and in constant coordination with the PDCC. A Farmers' Forum was likewise conducted by the Department of Agriculture to come up with specific plans for the dry spell.

In Kalinga, among the LGU efforts on the dry spell include the reactivation of PDCC and MDCCs, creation of Task Force Committees to respond and take immediate action, and close monitoring of damages and other effects of typhoon and dry spell. (PIA) [top]

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