In Central Mindanao, farmers are forced to sell their farm animals due to El Niño.

Their lands are parched and they have nothing to feed their animals.

For the farmers to let go of one of their prized possessions – their helpers in the farm – indicates a bleak situation.

According to senatorial candidate Erin Tañada, the farmers would not have been forced to sell their animals had there been intervention to help them battle the scourge of El Niño.

He said the Department of Agriculture (DA) and related agencies should be working double time to address the farmers’ need for irrigation, seedlings, and feeds for their farm animals, if necessary.

“Short-term livelihood programs or jobs should also be at hand as alternatives to farming if the dry season will not make planting viable. The DA has budget and sources of funds that it can tap to aid the country’s farmers and their best friends in the farm at a time they need help most,” explained the former deputy speaker.

Central Luzon, particularly Pampanga and Zambales have been severely affected by the earthquake on Tuesday. Another trembler hit Eastern Samar and some parts of the region yesterday.

“DA must step up and show the same diligence in helping those affected by the earthquake in Central Luzon and Eastern Visayas. Nature induced calamities have overtaken the capacity of our government to intervene to mitigate the impact and damages to people. It is doubly alarming to see them, especially the poor helplessly waiting for assistance from the government,” said Tañada.