BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist reported yesterday an initial damage of P15.8 million to crops and fishponds due to flashfloods on Jan. 1 in the 2nd and 3rd districts of Negros Occidental.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino yesterday placed the damage to 669 hectares of rice fields in the cities of Victorias, EB Magalona, and Silay in the 3rd district, and Sagay and Cadiz cities in the 2nd district, at P11.55 million, affecting 1,263 farmers.
Damage to fishponds in EB Magalona was placed at P4.1 million, and P20,000 worth of fish pens in Silay City, Masculino said, adding that they are also waiting for the report on damage to vegetables in Brgy. Patag, Silay.
There was no reported damage to agriculture in Talisay City, as of this time, although data are still being collated on the damage to fisheries.
The flashfloods in the cities of Victorias, Silay and Talisay and EB Magalona town affected more than 15,000 families, and destroyed houses and infrastructure projects in the 3rd district.
The victims have already availed of relief assistance from their respective local governments, provincial government of Negros Occidental, through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, and from the congressional office of Rep. Francisco Benitez.
City Administrator Dino Acuña also reported yesterday that damage to agricultural crops in Victorias City was placed at P4.8 million, and P1.8 million for poultry and livestock, and the flashfloods affected more than 9,000 families.
Acuña said that Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca was informed by the Department of Public Works and Highways of the transfer of an amphibian excavator, from San Enrique to Victorias City, to be used in the dredging of the Magnanod and Malihaw rivers, and the Carugiat creek in the city.
He also said that the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office recommended the declaration of Victorias under a state of calamity, and this is expected to be deliberated on by the Sangguniang Panlungsod. Mayor Neil Lizares also recommended to the SP to place Talisay City under a state of calamity during its special session today, City Administrator Jonathan Ealdama told Aksyon Radyo.*