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OCD-ARMM updates the Local DRRM Officers from Maguindanao during the 2nd Quarter Meeting with DRRM Officers on 26 April 2016 participated in by at least twenty (20) LDRRMO’s held at the OCD-ARMM Conference Hall inside the 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division, Brgy. Awang,Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Leo T. Alicias, DRRM Division Chief of OCD-ARMM, said the strong El Niño in the Pacific continues to weaken, and it is expected that condition in the Pacific will return to neutral levels by mid-2016.

“We will experience this come May-June-July 2016 season,” said Alicias.

Engr. Amier Ashan Aplal, OCD-ARMM Operations Officer, said that the April drought and dry spell outlook shows that the provinces in the ARMM will likely experience drought.

“This means three consecutive months of below normal rainfall or >60% reduction from average,” said Aplal.

Accordingly, the Month of April is the transition period towards the Southwest monsoon (HABAGAT), and that isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms will likely be experienced during this month.

As of 18 April 2016, the DSWD-Maguindanao has reported a total affected population of 102,341 families or 511,705 individuals from at least 380 barangays in 31 municipalities all over Maguindanao due to drought situation.

As a result of the previously concluded Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA), key findings include: 20,221 farmers with a total farm area of 17,434.24 are greatly affected with a production loss of amounting to Php 108,239,821.00. This are mainly corn and rice which is the main agricultural products in Maguindanao; aside from the effects of the drought, the farmers have experienced massive rat infestation; the quantity and quality of the fish caught in the rivers and marshes has declined; water sources for drinking and cooking are in high stress; there are reported incidents of water-borne and heat related disease; additional provision of medicine is required as the drought is projected to prolong; the farming community has limited provision and source of food which will not be enough to sustain in the following months; the income, commerce and trade of the affected municipalities are greatly affected.

Meanwhile, the RDRRMC-ARMM thru the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) have extended on April 18-21, 2016 basic commodities to families from severely affected towns in Maguindanao that were hit by El Niño.