By: Ben Serrano
BUTUAN CITY- After what happened to the farmers in Kidapawan in North Cotabato province who were asking for rice got bullets instead, the regional office of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) on Friday admitted it has no records yet on how many farmers, how many hectares of agricultural lands damaged, in what areas, municipalities and provinces, what kind of crops destroyed in the dry spell that hit the region for months now.
In an interview OCD-Caraga Chief of Operations and assistant regional director Amado Mazo admitted that the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) which is also the regional secretariat of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) has not received reports yet from local government units in the region.
OCD is officially responsible in obtaining records and draw mitigating measures resulting from disasters both natural and man-made.
“But we only served as server, pooling of pool of data derived by various concerned government agencies and different LGUs in the region. This is because of our limited resources and manpower to get data ourselves and visit one by one affected areas” Mazo said.
Mazo added that as of press time no LGUs and concerned government agencies have so far submitted to the Office of the Civil Defense Caraga regional office official report brought about by dry spell also can be categorized as disaster that already hit Caraga region for nearly three months now.
Mazo added no record also from their office as of this press time on what government actions made, on interventions, mitigations and prevention including rehabilitation were done by concerned government agencies in Caraga Region.
This developed after growing number of affected farmers in upland, rice and lowland farming including fisher folks in Caraga Region already expressed alarm that their day to day production is slowly decreasing and their sources depleting saying the worst they will suffer has yet to come including the extent of damages due continuing dry spell.
OCD’s Mazo however admitted Caraga Region has not reached the El Nino level of catastrophe but still continuing dry spell.
Earlier, farmers’and fisherfolks’groups like Kilusang Magbubukid Ng Pilipinas (KMP), Namasur, Uman and other groups like the Coco Farmers Alliance also expressed alarm over continuing dry spell that now affect almost all parts of Caraga Region.
The groups claimed millions of pesos of crops and farms of rice, corn, vegetables including thousands of hectares of coconut farms, rice lands, corn and other crops farms have been damaged by the continuing dry spell in the region.
Fisherfolks also complained that too much heat on sea waters already affecting sea corals where fish dwells, ecologies of the longest coastlines that is found in Mindanao, that is Caraga Region.