MANILA - The entire province of Occidental Mindoro has been placed under a state of calamity due to damage caused by weather phenomenon El Niño on crops, a provincial agriculture officer said on Tuesday.
Agriculture officer Nonoy Baranda said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan declared a state of calamity last week to expedite the release of calamity funds to aid farmers affected by the dry spell.
The dry spell in Occidental Mindoro has left P149 million in damage to crops, said Baranda.
The provincial government also gave fuel subsidies to farmers, which they can use for farming machinery.
Seeds of vegetables that do not need much water to grow were also distributed to farmers.
State weather bureau PAGASA last week warned that the effects of El Niño, a weather pattern associated with reduced rainfall, would become more drastic during the summer season.
The El Niño phenomenon is expected to affect the country until June, delaying the rainy season, PAGASA said.
The Philippines has been experiencing reduced rainfall since February, with several provinces suffering from a dry spell and drought.
-- With a report from Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News