BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — International and local media have reported record highs in temperatures and prolonged heat waves in various countries such as China, and the US, leading to concerns on the possibly devastating impacts in agricultural products, and livestock.
Comparisons have been made on the prolonged dry spell in 2016, which was so severe it led to the declaration of the state of calamity in Negros Occidental.
Reports by the Office of the Provincial Agriculture reports losses in agro-fishery industry of up to P470 million; with over P16 billion in total losses all over the country.
International news reports also said in the Philippines, six cities, 16 provinces, and 65 municipalities declared under a state of calamity.
In Negros Occidental alone, 136 out of 661 barangays or 20.6 percent were affected by the prolonged dry spell.
ReliefWeb, the leading humanitarian information source on global crises and disasters, also published that in 2016, around 400,000 farmers were affected in the Philippines, with more than half a million hectares in total land area affected.
ReliefWeb also reported what it called as “driest” spell from December of 2015 to May of 2016 with average rainfall decreasing by 14 percent in Luzon; 21 percent in Visayas; and 35 percent in Mindanao.
Funds were also infused to mitigate the impact of the dry spell. In 2015–2016, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), which leads the Philippines’ El Niño Task Force, allotted P21 billion for El Niño, P4 billion to manage water supplies, P1.4 Billion to provide food stamps, and another P2 billion to support affected urban households, ReliefWeb stated.