News Release

PBBM measures to protect farmers, fishermen from El Niño effective – DA

The El Niño mitigation programs of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. are effective, particularly the government efforts to ease the phenomenon’s adverse effects to farmers and fisherfolk in the country, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In a weekly news forum in Quezon City on Saturday, DA spokesman Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said their latest report showed only 60,000 hectares of farmland were affected by El Niño.

The figure is lower than the projected damage of 120,000 hectares, he said.

“So, naging epektibo iyong paghahanda ng Kagawaran katuwang ang ibang sector lalong-lalo na ang mga lokal na pamahalaan at ang NIA [National Irrigation Administration] para masigurado na hindi masyadong apektado iyong ating sektor,” De Mesa told reporters.

DA’s latest bulletin said El Niño’s damage to the agriculture sector has reached PhP6.3 billion. Damage on rice fields was at PhP3.3 billion followed by corn at PhP1.9 billion and high-value commercial crops at PhP1 billion.

“Pinakamalaki pa rin [ang] reported damage sa MIMAROPA at PhP1.7 billion and Region VI, Western Visayas at PhP1.5 billion. Susunod ang Cordillera Administrative Region almost PhP800 million,” De Mesa said.

Despite this, the DA official said the government has been successful in its interventions against El Niño.

Asked for possible damages of the incoming La Niña, De Mesa said there might be a minimal increase of damage in areas still with rice fields. He said most parts of the country have already concluded the harvest season. | PND