DSWD Intensifies Support for El Niño-Affected Farmers in Occidental Mindoro

OCCIDENTAL MINDORO — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is stepping up efforts to assist local rice farmers whose crops were devastated by El Niño this season. The initiative aims to provide both immediate financial aid and long-term solutions to mitigate the impact of future droughts.

According to Philippines News Agency, 943 rice farmers gathered at the Municipal Hall on Wednesday to verify their claims of total crop destruction. The Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) Office were present to assess the damage reports. Those whose claims were confirmed will receive financial assistance, scheduled for distribution on April 23.

Further enhancing its support, the DSWD is also deploying its Project LAWA at BINHI (Local Adaptation to Water Access and Breaking Insufficiency through Nutritious Harvest for the Impoverished) in the region. DSWD Assistant Secretary Irene Dumlao, in a conversation with the Philippine News Agency, detailed the project's approach to provide drought relief by employing farmers to construct mini water reservoirs. This initiative not only aims to offer a temporary income through training and construction work but also seeks to equip the farmers with the means to better manage water resources, thereby increasing their resilience against the challenging climate conditions perpetuated by El Niño.