Recto warns of looming national crisis
Senate President Pro-tempore Ralph Recto warned that the Philippines is on the brink of a national crisis if government will not release the P3.9 billion Calamity Fund and P6.7 billion Quick Response Fund for the provinces affected by the El Niño.
Recto issued the warning after the weather bureau reported that 30 provinces will experience drought this April.
He said further inaction could lead to more farmers’ rallies and violent dispersals like what happened in Kidapawan.
The latest to declare a state of calamity are Cebu and Bohol provinces.
Recto said now that the weather bureau has identified the provinces that would be suffering from drought in the next three months, government should release the emergency funds.
He said the QRF includes P1.32 billion for the social welfare department, and P500 million each for the Department of Agriculture (DA) at the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. is set to release P2.7 million to 462 farmers in Negros Occidental, whose farms were affected by the dry spell and pest infestations.
Farmers whose lands were affected by typhoon and flooding in the last quarter of 2015 will also receive claims.