El Niño damage mounts to ₱4 billion in two weeks

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The Agriculture Department reports that from ₱1.33 billion on March 20, damages have reached P4.35 billion on Sunday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 1) — Production losses in agriculture caused by a dry spell mounted to ₱4  billion in two weeks, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported.

According to the DA's Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM), from ₱1.33 billion on March 20, agricultural damage from El Niño has reached ₱4.35 billion as of Sunday since the start of 2019.

The affected regions are I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, the Cordillera Region and the Bangsamoro Region.

Officials recorded a volume loss of 233,006 metric tons in corn and rice production. Rice production losses reached ₱2.69 billion, while corn production losses ballooned to ₱1.66 billion.

Camarines Sur bore the brunt of rice production losses with damages reaching ₱501.59 million. On the other hand, Ifugao province suffered the most in corn production losses with a reported damage of ₱465.66 million.

A total of 138,859 corn and rice farmers were affected nationwide, the DRRM said.

The DA said they have allotted P95.875 million to assist 3,835 farmers. Meanwhile the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation gave ₱43.083 million insurance to aid 3,534 farmers from Regions I, III, IV-A, VI and X.

Weather officials said the effects of El Niño will last until June.