El Niño affects Iloilo City’s beautification program

Iloilo City’s beautification program and limited rice land areas were also suffering from the El Niño phenomenon, the city agriculturist said.

Romulo Pangantihon said they were trying to find ways to “contain the effect of the climatic condition” as plants grown and maintained under the beautification program were already wilting. Most of the plants grown are ornamental plants including Golden lilies along Diversion road, Australian bush at the Esplanade and Creeping peanuts fronting Atrium. 

‘“We are not spared by the climatic effect. If other rural areas declared a calamity in their agricultural production, the same is true in urban locations,” he said.

The beautification program takes charge of the maintenance of plants grown along major thoroughfares of the city, as well as at the Esplanade.

Currently, they are assessing and evaluating if the plants are ideal “to be nurtured in their current locations”.

The city agriculture office is doing preparatory activities by maintaining planting materials at the plant nursery in Barangay Tacas, Jaro.

The plants will be used to replace those damaged by the El Niño once the weather is already favorable for planting.

Pangantihon admitted that they also found it difficult to source water that they use in watering the plants because even the source is almost scarce.

He added that some 18 hectares of rice crops in the city were also affected. The damage was placed at P1.2 million.

He said the city has only around 360 hectares available for farming, mostly dependent on rain.

“In rice areas, the (intervention) is incorporated in the national assistance coming from DA (Department of Agriculture). Whatever assistance is availed brought by the climatic condition, Iloilo City is also included,” he said.

His office has already submitted a report to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) for appropriate action.PNA