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5 towns in Mindoro provinces declare state of calamity due to El Niño agri damage
5 towns in Mindoro provinces declare state of calamity due to El Niño agri damage
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5 towns in Mindoro provinces declare state of calamity due to El Niño agri damage
by Ellicia Del Mundo17 March 2024

Five towns in Occidental and Oriental Mindoro are under a state of calamity due to the agricultural damages caused by the El Niño phenomenon, the spokesperson of Task Force El Niño said on Sunday, March 17.

Interviewed on DZRH's Maynila Ito Ang Pilipinas, Task Force El Niño Joey Villarama said Municipals of Bulalacao and Mansalay in Oriental Mindoro and Municipals of San Jose Magsaysay and Palooc towns in Occidental Mindoro have declared the state of calamity.

"Pero in total, 6 [towns] talaga [ang nag-declare ng state of calamity], pero ang isang bayan bukod tangi sa Mindanao ay tubig naman ang problema," Villarama noted.

As of March 13, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council recorded ₱1.23 billion worth of agri damages in CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula, affecting a total of 29,409 farmers and fisherfolks.

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According to the Task Force El Niño spokesperson, both Occidental and Oriental Mindoro are susceptible to the El Niño's wrath.

"Statistically kasi, ang Occidental Mindoro, kung ang scale natin is 1 to 7 in terms of frequency, 7 out of 7 talaga na na tatamaan siya ng El Niño, so 100 percent. Ang Oriental naman ay 4 out of 10," he said.

Villarma mentioned that they are closely watching the reported rise in diarrhea cases spurred by lack of water sources in Occidental Mindoro.

"Hindi ko masasabi na outbreak na siya, I have to check with DOH [Department of Health], pero tumaas ang kaso ng diareha dahil sa kakulangan ng makukunan ng tubig na maiinom. Kaakibat iyan ng El Niño kaya kasama ang DOH sa Task Force El Niño para maiwasan yung pagkalat ng sakit na iyan," he said.

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As per the Task Froce El Niño spokesperson, concerned agencies have already prepared alternative water sources for the towns under a state of calamity.

The state weather bureau in its latest advisory reported that El Niño across the tropical Pacific Ocean weakened and this is expected to persist until May 2024.

With this development, PAGASA raised a La Niña Watch which means there is a 55 percent chance that La Niña will develop in June, July, and August.

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