Gov. Edgar Chatto has asked the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to exempt from its ban the El NiÃ±o response programs of the province now under a state of calamity with already hundreds of millions in farm damages.
The programs and interventions to caution the impact of the dry spell, especially on the most vulnerable farm sector, are to be implemented by the agriculture, social welfare and even engineering offices.
Pursuant to the running election ban, candidates shall take no part especially in the delivery and distribution of calamity emergency aids, according to the governor who is seeking a third term.
Chatto earlier had the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, which is presided over by Vice Gov. Concepcion Lim, passing a resolution declaring the province in a state of calamity while the phenomenal drought is forecast to cause more damage.
The provincial board resolution followed the separate resolutions from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), which the governor chairs, and farmersâ€™ council asking for the declaration of the state of calamity.
Disaster preparedness and response articulate the proactive leadership of the province so that this thrust has become an assumed priority in priority programs engaging different development and service agenda and activities.
In the early wake of El NiÃ±o, the governor already tasked a multi-agency provincial task force to closely monitor the condition of the farms, fisheries and other food production activities.
The task force tightly worked with the Department of Agriculture, related agencies and other necessary government arms to mitigate the abnormal climateâ€™s effects on farms and irrigations systems thru cloud seeding operations.
It further monitored the record heatâ€™s impacts on other resources like waterbeds that could spell likely huge additional economic losses as well as damage to human lives.
While awaiting a positive COMELEC action, preparations for the El NiÃ±o response program teams comprising both national and local agencies are already underway.Â (Ven rebo Arigo)