Based on its latest assessment, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said at least 43 provinces have been affected by the drought, which has hit the country since early this year.
Of the provinces affected by the dry spell, almost half or 19 are on the southern island of Mindanao while 10 are in the central part of the country, said the PAGASA report. The rest or 14 provinces are on the main island of Luzon. The Philippines has 81 provinces.
Australia’s ABC News reported last week that eight Philippine provinces severely affected by the drought had been placed under the state of calamity.
In the central province of Cebu, the latest on the list of calamity areas, the office of the provincial agriculturist said at least 170 hectares of corn, rice, banana and vegetables in two cities and two towns were badly affected by the drought, The Freeman newspaper said.
To hasten the assistance to affected areas, the provincial government asked town and city officials to submit a report on the extent of the damage to livestock and crop.
As of last week, the Department of Agriculture placed the agricultural damage across the country at P2.2 billion or $50 million with 47,111 farmers and 57,000 hectares of land affected, the Malaya newspaper reported.