BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – August is the seeming purgatory in the Sugarlandia of the Philippines.
It is the month that hovers between the tiempo muerto and the tiempo suerte – the door that stands between the season of want when the sugarcanes are allowed to mature and the economy slows down.
Next month, however, the aso from the simboryo or the smoke from the chimneys of the sugar mills will soon signal that the milling seasom has begun.
This year, however, August brought torrential rains and flood that swamped this highly-urbanized center and forced a week-long cancellation of classes while elsewhere in the province, close to a hundred houses were damaged and millions of pesos in damages to crops, fisheries and livestock were reported.
Capitol’s situationer report as of 11am today, 31 August 2023, showed rice and other crops suffered the most damage valued at P117 million based on destroyed crops in 67 villages in 13 localities.
It also reported livestock damage worth P2.6 million equivalent to 470 heads in nine cities and towns while fisheries sustained damages valued at P1.5 million in two localities.
Mayor Albee Benitez here, on the other hand, had to suspend classes until tomorrow, Friday, 1 September 2023, as a staye of calamity was declared after floods sunk more than half or 33 of the city’s 61 barangays (villages).
Tbis is the longest class suspension so far this year even if the opening of classes for public schools was supposed to be on 29 August.
The Bacolod flooding incidents were triggered by rivers overclowing their banks amid heavy rainfall, city officials have earlier said.