Four municipalities in Iloilo are on the threshold of declaring a state of calamity due to the El Niño phenomenon.

Cornelio Salinas, head of the Iloilo Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, identified the municipalities as Carles, Dumangas, Barotac Nuevo, and Anilao.

He said Barotac Nuevo has already declared a state of calamity, but there are rectifications on the procedural process.

 The three other towns are still in the process of finetuning, he said in an interview Thursday.

 “By next week, probably they are already in that direction,” he said.

 Provincewide, as of March 11 data, their validated report showed losses of PHP422.6 million in rice, corn, and high-value crops.

 “Although our losses in crops are almost half a billion, there is a criterion. Very particular is that 30 percent of the livelihood is affected. The damage estimate is not enough to declare the state of calamity. There are other parameters,” he said.

 Further, he said that river-run waters in the province are already at a critical level.

 “It means we already lack water to provide enough water for farmlands,” he said.

 These include the Suage River Irrigation System (RIS) dam, Sta Barbara diversion dam, Barotac Viejo RIS dam, Jalaur diversion dam, and Sibalom diversion dam.Perla Lena/PNA