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PIA Press Release

Banaue declared in a state of calamity, Lagawe to follow

Banaue, Ifugao (6 March) -- With irrigation, ricelands and water sources drying up due the continuing dry spell, the municipal government here declared this tourist spot in a state of calamity.

Resolution No. 422-2010 states there are households who need to find other source of household water since their original source of water had dried up. It also stated that most of the Banaue people are farmers and/or irrigators and that irrigating their ricelands is as important as their life.

Mayor Lino Madchiw said that farmers here whose ricefields lack water planted vegetables and other rootcrops just to have food this dry season.

In order for the municipal government to be capable in addressing these emergency problems, there is a need to declare the municipality in a state of calamity to authorize the local chief executive to utilize the 2010 calamity fund to address these problems.

Madchiw also said that with the declaration of state of calamity in Banaue, the Local government Unit can now use their calamity funds to assist farmers cope up with the effect of the dry spell.

Most of the farmers here are now looking for alternative jobs just to make a living. Some became tourists guides and some went into tricycle driving. This is the peak season for the tourism industry of the municipality with its world famous Ifugao Rice Terraces.

Meanwhile, alarmed with the effect of the dry spell, the Lagawe Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCC) has requested the Local Legislators to declare the municipality under the state of calamity.

This move was made after the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) presented its initial report to the council the damage caused by the El Nino phenomenon in the different barangays of the municipality.

According to the MAO's report, about P56.9 million worth of aquatic and agricultural resources have been damaged since the start of the drought.

Among the reported damaged crops, rice is the worst hit by the dry spell with a total market value of P38.2 million planted in 750 hectares followed by corn with P17.1M; fisheries,.P. 8M; fruit trees, P.5M and vegetables, P.3 million.

The MDCC has proposed some mitigating measures to help the farmers affected by the El Nino phenomenon in the municipality. These include the rehabilitation of 11 communal irrigation systems and provisions of 24 units of shallow tube well and 30 plastic rolls of hose in the seven barangays and the municipal nursery.

Furthermore, 20 units of power sprayer, 750 bags of certified seeds of rice, 476 bags of high breed of corn seeds, 25 kilos of assorted vegetable seed and 3000 assorted seed of fruit trees will be provided to the affected barangays. (PIA Ifugao) [top]

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