El Nino hits Isabela, rest of the country

El Nino phenomenon hits the Philippines, Isabela province being the hardest. The country and the rest of Southeast Asia will be absorbing a high reduction of gross domestic product (GDP) growth as much as 6.7%, foreign experts said. The long dry spell will most likely alter expectations in the increase of GDP (about 2-3%) in the country as well, and may remain as mere numbers yet to be attained.

Losses from El Nino has reached a staggering $152 million worth of crops here in the Philippines. In Isabela alone, damaged crops (rice and corn) hits P4 billion, according to the provincial agricultural office. This may rise even more as there are no signs yet of rain fall to come.

Corn-producing areas in Isabela are totally damaged by drought, as well as those planted with rice that has not been irrigated due to the continuing decrease of water level of Magat Dam, the primary source of irrigation in the province. Although some farmers, especially those who can remedy in buying water pumps, manage to save their  crops but cannot in any way replenish 100% the worth of crops lost on them

Manila Times, 20 February 2010
Asia News Network

* Photo courtesy of htttp://www.bulatlat.com ("Man Carrying Gallons of Water, Magat Dam, Ramon, Isabela, Philippines")