Recent PAGASA's climate monitoring and analyses indicate that the unusually warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific (CEEP) which started since November 2018 is expected to become a full-blown El Nino. During the past three months, rainfall analyses showed that impacts of below normal rainfall conditions in provinces of Western Mindanao and Ilocos Norte were already experienced and are expected to continue. Five municipalities in Cotabato Province (Region XII) were affected by dry spell November 2018 to 22 January 2019. (Govt. of Philippines, 5 Mar 2019)
Drought conditions are being reported in the MIMAROPA Region, Region IX, and Region XII, BARMM and Metro Manila, where ten provinces have declared a State of Calamity according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). While [PAGASA] declared a weak El Niño lasting until June, agricultural regions are suffering from its worsening effects, with the Department of Agriculture (DA) reporting damage to over 13,600 ha of agricultural crops, mostly rice (81 per cent) and corn (19 per cent). Agricultural losses are estimated at PhP1.33 billion (US$25.6 million) but could run higher as the DA verifies reports from regional offices. Over 16,000 farmers and fisherfolk are affected, and some local media are reporting that the drought conditions are also starting to affect livestock, with some farm animals dying due to the lack of grass or hay for foraging.
Mindanao is the most affected region, a major food producer where poverty levels are the highest in the country and farmers and fisherfolk are already vulnerable due to repeated armed conflict and natural hazards such as heavy rain and flooding. Since January, the NDRRMC reports that the central and western Mindanao provinces are experiencing below normal rainfall conditions which is predicted to continue. Close to 72,000 families (360,000 people) are affected in the five municipalities in North Cotabato alone, sixty per cent of which are located in Pikit. With the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, local authorities of North Cotabato have declared a State of Calamity. (OCHA, 29 Mar 2019)
Drought conditions have been reported in the MIMAROPA Region, Region IX, Region XII, BARMM and Metro Manila. As of 1 April, ten provinces have declared a State of Calamity because of the drought. More than 13,600 ha of agricultural crops, mostly rice and corn, have reportedly been affected with losses estimated at PhP1.33 billion (US$25.6 million). (OCHA, 1 Apr 2019)
Weak El Niño (dry spell) condition continues to affect and incur agricultural losses to farmers.Thirty-nine local government units have declared a state of calamity due to a dry spell. 164,000 farmers have been affected. (OCHA, 25 Apr 2019)