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Capitol to provide aid to El Niño-affected farmers

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The Provincial Government of Pampanga, through Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda, is set to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to assist Irrigators’ Associations (IA) affected by El Niño in the province.

This was gleaned from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) meeting held at the Kingsborough International Convention Center on Friday, May 31.

In light of the effects of the phenomenon, 27 IAs have sought assistance from the provincial government. The PDRRMC, chaired by Gov. Pineda, approved the amount of ₱40 million for the provision of assistance to the affected farmers.

Without delay, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) jointly assessed the damages and needs of the IAs.

According to OPA records, a total of 77 barangays were affected by damages due to drought, brown planthopper, and spider mites in the province, with losses reaching ₱71,072,485.59.

Angelina Blanco, PDRRM officer, said the assistance to be provided by the council is aimed at alleviating the financial burden on the affected farmers.

“Nahihirapan na ang ating mga magsasaka, nababaon sila sa utang dahil sa mga gastusin nila, lalo na sa fuel at electricity,” she said.

To date, Blanco said that only 15 out of 27 IAs from Arayat, San Simon, San Luis, Candaba, Mexico, and Apalit, comprising 1,461 farmers, have initially complied with the requirements needed and are set to be the first batch to receive the said assistance from the council.