Farmers in 17 towns in the Philippines lost their crops
Field workers are still validating reports on the extent of crop damage in the other 19 Maguindanao towns, according to provincial officials and the agriculture department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The provincial board, chaired by Maguindanao Vice Gov. Lester Sinsuat, declared the entire province last week under state of calamity to maximize utilization of funds for relief missions in affected peasant communities in drought-stricken areas.
Badly affected by the calamity are the municipalities of Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, South Upi, Mamasapano, Montawal, Guindulungan, Talayan, Shariff Saidona, Datu Abdullah Sangki and Datu Anggal Midtimbang in the second district of Maguindanao.
Rice and corn farms in seven towns in the first district of Maguindanao, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Kabuntalan, Northern Kabuntalan, North Upi, Buldon, Sultan Mastura and Sultan Kudarat, were also scorched by the drought.
Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu told reporters the province would really suffer from the drought because no less than 70 percent of local farmers rely on propagation of rice and corn as main sources of income. ■