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Maguindanao Placed Under State of Calamity Due to Drought

Maguindanao has been placed under state of calamity for the second time this year, this time due to drought.

The provincial board approved the resolution placing the entire province under state of calamity as the dry spell has affected over 2,000 farmers in 36 municipalities.

Reports said damages to agriculture has breached the P80-million mark.

Dr. Salik Panalunsong, Maguindanao provincial agriculturist, said that almost P80 million worth of crops, including P60 million worth of corn and P20 million worth of rice, have been destroyed. Damage to livestock was placed at more than a million pesos.

Governor Esmael Toto Mangudadatu said the declaration was made to pave the way for national government agencies to extend aid to farmers affected by the drought.

Early in March, the provincial government declared a state of calamity in 12 towns due to the month-long military offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) that has displaced about 20,000 families or 120,000 persons.

According to Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao – Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (ARMM-HEART), more than 90 percent of the displaced families have already returned home 27 days after the military ended its operations against the BIFF.

As of this posting, ARMM-HEART said there are only 8,783 families or 43,915 persons remaining in 11 evacuation centers located across six municipalities.