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PDRRMC recommends to declare Bohol under the state of calamity

Due to the looming El Nino forecasted by the Philippine Atmospheric Geo-Physical Services Administration
(PAG-ASA) to hit the country from July this year to March next year, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and
Management Council (PDRRMC) during full its council meeting last Tuesday held at the Ceremonial Hall, 4 th  Floor,
New Capitol Building, Cogon this city has recommended to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to declare Bohol under
the state of calamity.

Gov. Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado, PDRRMC Chair said that based on the report from PAG-ASA that an 80%
probability having El Nino within the next two months, although there haven’t damages yet being reported to
agriculture, the declaration is necessary so Local Government Units (LGUs) could use their calamity funds to draw
mitigating measures to lessen the impact of dry conditions.

At that meeting, the council through Gov. Aumentado received three resolutions from the Malinao Dam
Federation of Irrigators Association (MADFIA), Bayongan and Capayas Farmers/Irrigators Association (BAY-
CAPA). Inc. and Talibon Small Reservoir Irrigators System (SRIS) Irrigators Association, Inc. with the same tenor
which is to request the governor of Bohol to allocate funds for cloud seeding for the wet cropping season.

Gov. Aumentado emphasized that we do not wait that the situation would worsen before we will take action.
Provincial Agriculturist Liza M. Quirog said that the provincial government has already made preparations to
mitigate the impact of El Nino in the province to wit: the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) and the
Department of Agriculture (DA) prepositioning and distributing rice, corn and vegetable seeds to the farmers; early
release of water from irrigation dams to beat the lowering amount of moisture which will be felt towards the
3 rd  quarter of the year particularly in the month of July and onwards; Governor Aumentado already wrote the letters
sent to the following: DA Undersecretary to amend the Rice Program Guidelines to reach farmers with less than 1,
000 sq. m. and those encoded late by the LGUs and DA, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to
grant funds to LGUs to establish LGU operated hatcheries and distribute bangus fingerlings;

More letters were sent to: DA Regional Director requesting the amount of P259, 000, 000 fund or materials
assistance for various agricultural interventions i. e. crops, agricultural engineering and livestock to the farmers in
Bohol, BFAR Regional Director requesting P28, 000, 000 fund or materials assistance for various fishery production
interventions to the fisherfolk in Bohol, BSWM Director requesting for P7, 500 fund assistance for the cloud
seeding operations for three quarters in Bohol;

The governor will meet the manager of the National Food Authority (NFA) in Bohol to talk about their palay
procurement program for Boholano’s rice produce; and he will meet DA and NIA representatives to reconcile
records of rice seeds beneficiaries to include all other farmers presently excluded from their master list.

Quirog disclosed that the actual data on the damage caused by El Nino will be available on May 29, 2023, from
the municipal agricultural offices.

Elvira Alvarado bared that NIA will implement proper water management through continued implementation of
alternate distribution schedule to save on water and address water shortage; implement proper water management
through early planting; adoption of diversified dropping to areas most likely to experience water shortage; provide
advisory to farmers to plant short-term seeds during the SMCs meetings; coordination and monitoring with irrigators
associations through meetings on the status of water availability; installation of water installation pumps on areas
where water exists or drained water are collected; submission of cloud seeding request to the provincial government;
information dissemination to farmers and stakeholders during meetings and distribution of brochures to improve
awareness; and weekly dam water level monitoring and reporting starting May 29, 2023.

Alvararo said that their long-term measures are ongoing such as the construction of small water impounding
through water re-use on the existing drainage integrating solar pump; construction of canal lining and structure;
rehabilitation/reforestation at the watershed areas to improve streamflow or implementation of integrated water
resource management program.

Leonardo Samar from PAG-ASA said that their office has been continuously monitoring the developing El Nino
conditions in the tropical Pacific. Recent conditions and model forecasts indicate that El Nino may emerge in the
coming season (June-July-August) at 80% probability and may persist until the first quarter of 2024.

Samar added that El Nino increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could bring
negative impacts (such as dry spells and droughts) in some areas of the country. However, over the western part of
the country, above-normal rainfall conditions during the Southwest monsoon season (habagat) may also be
expected. By Atoy Cosap