North Cotabato placed under state of calamity

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The El Niño has already wreaked havoc in the agricultural sector. (File photo)

(CNN Philippines) — The province of North Cotabato declared a state of calamity after enduring a months-long drought due to El Niño.

The Provincial Board declared the state of calamity during its Wednesday (January 20) session.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) declared in its Resolution No. 014 that the damage brought about by the drought has already affected 27,558.55 hectares of agricultural lands based on the Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis report of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.

The value of crop damages is placed at P238,017,916.35 broken down into the following high-value crops:

Rice — P15,039,972.70

Corn — P50,043,942.70

Oil palm — P5,982,912.00

Coconut — P115,693,368.00

Rubber — P48,250,935.00

Cacao — P2,293,290.00

Coffee — P713,496.00

Apart from the drought, the towns of Kabacan and Matalam also had troubles with a rat infestation this month.

Cotabato Province Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza requested for the declaration from the SP to readily alleviate the needs of the farmers.

Under the state of calamity, the provincial government now has access to 5% of its calamity fund.