MANILA -- Rice fields in 25 barangays in Santiago City are suffering from rat infestation, prompting farmers to seek help from the city agriculture office.
Among the barangays are Batal, Divisoria, Patul, Plaridel, Rizal, Salvador, San Isidro, Sinili, Villa Gonzaga, Ambalatungan, Abra, Balintocatoc, Baluarte, Bannawag, Buenavista, Cabulay, Calaocan, Luna, Nabbuan, Naggasican, Sagana, San Andres, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Sinsayon.
About 900 hectares of rice plantations were affected by the infestation.
Brgy. Rizal is the most affected with about 200 hectares, followed by Brgy. Salvador with more than 100 hectares of affected farmlands.
The City Agricultural Office is distributing pesticides to help minimize the damage caused by the rats.
However, the acting city agriculturist, Leonardo Maylem, admitted that they cannot distribute enough pesticides for all the affected plantations.
He added that they would need help from both the provincial and the national governments to stop the problem in their city. -- report from Janford Bonifacio, ABS-CBN News Cagayan Valley