Antique now under state of calamity

The province of Antique is now under a state of calamity following the approval of its declaration by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) during its regular session Thursday.

Antique provincial board member Errol T. Santillan moved for the declaration and got the support of his colleagues.

The declaration was done upon the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) chaired by Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao.

The PDRRMC convened last Tuesday to tackle the adverse effect of the southwest monsoon especially enhanced by Tropical Depressions Henry and Josie last July 17-25 and August 2-4, causing some P31.66 million damages in crops as per monitoring conducted by the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA).

“There were also around 1,695 hectares of rice fields with damaged crops and 2,940 farmers affected,” OPA head Nicolasito Calawag said during the PDRRMC meeting.

Aside from the damage to crops, the Integrated Provincial Health Office headed by Dr. Ric Noel Naciongayo also reported during the PDRRMC meeting an upsurge in suspected dengue cases with 491 or equivalent to 68 percent from last year’s 292 cases for the same period of January 1 to July 28.

“Most of these suspected cases then were reported because of the rain,” Naciongayo said.

The three towns of Hamtic, San Jose de Buenavista, and Barbaza earlier were also placed under the state of calamity after these were hit by the southwest monsoon rains.

Meanwhile, Cadiao during an interview right after the PDRRMC meeting said the state of calamity declaration is needed so that the provincial government could utilize a portion of its Quick Response Fund.

“We will utilize P3 million as assistance to the affected families and for disease prevention,” Cadiao said.

Antique Vice Governor Edgar Denosta, in a separate interview, said the Provincial Board was supposed to have its emergency session on Wednesday afternoon but was moved due to lack of quorum. PNA