Farmers in the island province of Cebu in central Philippines have yet to file crop insurance claims while their villages are reeling from the effects of the ongoing El Nino phenomenon.
The Cebu provincial board has passed a resolution declaring the entire province under a “state of calamity,” citing the impact of the incessant spell of El Nino on the agricultural sector, state-run Philippine News Agency
According to the report, provincial agriculturist Roldan Sarajena said no one from the 31,000 farmers insured by Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. with premiums paid by the province has filed claims so far this year.
With the declaration of a state of calamity, the provincial government will be able to release its P33-million calamity fund to address the effects of El Nino.
The provincial board has also approved a separate resolution that will help farmers, particularly those in the mountain villages, cope with water shortages.
The author of the resolution, provincial board member Alex Binghay, said the provincial government “must be cautious and vigilant enough in heeding the demand for relief for farmers from the severe drought that has been gripping Cebu Province since last year.”
Binghay warned against the repeat of a farmers’ protest and the subsequent violent police dispersal in Kidapawan City in Cotabato, another drought-stricken province, last April 1.
The incident left two demonstrators dead and dozens injured as scuffles and gunfire broke out in the clash between policemen and farmers and their supporters who were demanding government relief amid the dry spell.