Iloilo prepares P233M for El Niño


ILOILO — The provincial government here increases the budgetary requirements needed in its contingency plan for El Niño by P6-million or from initial P226.90-million to P233.07-million.

Based on record, the province is expected spend most of this funds to agriculture wherein a total of P94.7-million is allocated to minimize possible damage in crops (P80.6-million), fisheries (P7-million) and livestock (P7-million).

National government agencies like the Department of Agriculture augmented the province with P5-million for the procurement and distribution of rice, vegetable and corn seeds susceptible to drought.

There are also provisions for procurement and distribution of rodenticides and pesticides, as well as, production of bio-control agents for pest control.

The Provincial Agriculture Office will also spearhead an immediate restoration of coral species that are more adaptive to warm temperatures and build new habitats to serve as breeding ground for fish and other sea creatures.

With these funds, the provincial government is confident that it can build the capacities of farmers to mitigate the effects of El Niño, according to Provincial Agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo.

The revised action plan, which is set to take effect this October 2015 up to June 2016, provides detailed strategies and measures to adapt to the effects of strongest El Niño foreseen to hit the country.

Crafted by the task force organized by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr, Iloilo is the first to submit the 2015-2016 El Niño contingency plan to the National Economic and Development Authority in Region 6.

Aside from agriculture, the plan also covers other socio-economic areas like human health (P11.8-million), social capital (P57-million) and environment (P4.8-million).

A total of P55.6 million will also be utilized to construct more water systems, purchase water saving technology, installation of rainwater harvesting technology and cloud seeding.

Media plugging and production of information, education and campaign materials require P5.1-million, while the training for disaster risk reduction requires spending of P4-million.

Provincial Planning and Development Officer Mario Nillos said they will soon organize a province-wide caravan to orient the public of El Niño and what they can do about it.JAN

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