Department of Agriculture begins preparations for El Niño

January 21, 2019

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has assured the public that there will be no repeat of farmers staging rallies against government asking for food like what happened in Kidapawan City in April 2016.

Piñol said the DA has already prepared as early as last year for an expected El Niño with the creation of Task Force on El Niño.

He added that the task force was immediately organized when the first reports of a probable drought were released by the Philippine Weather Bureau and interventions were already programmed.

Piñol was referring to the killing of two hungry farmers and the wounding of several others when they demanded for food.

Policemen fired shots on the protesting farmers on orders local officials who wanted the protesters to be dispersed.

Piñol pointed out that the interventions being readied by the DA include the delivery of seeds and water pumps during the period of the drought so farmers could recover insurance and the payment of insurance for crop damage especially for those who were not able to receive government pre-emptive interventions like water pumps.

Other interventions were emergency rice supply for those adversely affected by the drought; Survival and Recovery (SURE) loans which will be granted to those affected by the drought involving P25,000 No-Collateral and No-Interest Loan payable in three years and  continuous social media advisory based on the data collated by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service of the DA which opeates 24/7.